Governments are notorious for spending beyond their means. But they can be reined in through a range of tools, from ballot-box initiatives and legislative spending caps to simply using taxpayer resources more wisely. The Goldwater Institute is a tireless watchdog, analyzing and uncovering ways to make spending more efficient and accountable.
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MEDIA ADVISORY: Here Are Five Unbelievable Things Government Unions Are Doing With Your Tax DollarsPosted on November 22, 2013 | Type: Press Release | Author: Lucy Morrow Caldwell
Next week, taxpayers represented by the Goldwater Institute will take on a Phoenix, Ariz. police union (PLEA) in court over the practice of “release time,” a contract provision in collectively bargained contracts between local officials and government unions. With release time, government employees such as police officers can be released from their full-time jobs as public workers protecting the safety of our families to do full-time work for the union, while still collecting full salaries and pension benefits.
Biggs v. BrewerPosted on September 11, 2013 | Type: Case
Earlier this year, the state passed a Medicaid expansion program that levies an unconstitutional provider tax on Arizona taxpayers, to fund the program. Under Prop. 108 of the state constitution, bills that enact new taxes or increase taxes must receive two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the legislature. The state’s Medicaid expansion bill fell well short of this threshold. The Goldwater Institute is representing legislators whose votes against Medicaid expansion should have defeated the bill but were effectively nullified when the expansion bill became law without the constitutionally required two-thirds majority approval guaranteed by Prop 108, their constituents who were denied representation when their senators’ and representatives’ votes were not counted, and Arizona taxpayers who have been deprived of the protection of constitutional separation of powers.
MEDIA ADVISORY: SCOTTSDALE SCHOOL OFFICIALS RISK VIOLATION OF NEW LAW, SAYS GOLDWATER INSTITUTE LETTERPosted on September 05, 2013 | Type: Press Release
The Scottsdale Unified School District is misusing public resources to promote an upcoming bond election and violating new state law, according to a letter sent to district officials by the Goldwater Institute Thursday. And based on recent legislation that goes into effect next week, district officials could be personally liable for violating restrictions on taxpayer-funded electioneering.
Wright v. StantonPosted on August 15, 2013 | Type: Case
The City of Phoenix’s public retirement systems are sinking further into the red, but that hasn't stopped the city and Mayor Stanton from encouraging senior police officers to spike their pensions in violation of state law. Phoenix’s contract with public safety workers permits employees to “cash in” unused sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time, and other fringe benefits as salary in the years preceding retirement, thus inflating or “spiking” final salary for pension calculation purposes. Depending on the extent of the spiking, this can lead to significant increases in pension payments over the lifetime of the pensioner – or hundreds of millions of dollars in increased costs to Phoenix taxpayers. The Goldwater Institute is representing Phoenix taxpayers to stop this abusive and unlawful practice.
Recognizing Pension System Insolvency: A Catalyst for Lasting ReformPosted on July 23, 2013 | Type: Report | Author: Nick Dranias
Despite recent stock market highs, Arizona’s pension systems remain dead men walking. Officially, the state’s major pension funds are 72 percent funded, just 7 percentage points above what the federal government defines as the “red zone,” or in critical condition. This means they are short at least $14.5 billion, or $2,300 for every man, woman, and child in the state.