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.
- Press Releases
- In the News
- OpEds & Blogs
San Jose and San Diego Take a First Step in Fixing Financial FailurePosted on June 07, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Nick Dranias
Californians have leaped ahead of Arizonans in reforming local government pensions. Ballot measures in San Diego and San Jose asked residents to put new government employees into the equivalent of a 401(k) system and require old employees to opt into the new plan or contribute more to their existing plan so that it would become financially sustainable. The reforms passed the same day Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker prevailed in his recall election. If these pension reforms survive promised legal challenges, they could set precedent for Arizona and the rest of the Nation.
Goldwater Institute wins again. We lose. Again.Posted on June 06, 2012 | Type: Report | Author: E.J. Montini
Lawyers for the Goldwater Institute (the de facto Supreme Court of Arizona) used the hammer that is the “gift clause” in the Arizona Constitution to deliver a blow to the Phoenix police union. A judge ruled that union officers could not perform union work during police time in spite of a negotiated contract between the city and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. Here is a link to the Institute. According to a Goldwater press release, Clint Bolick, Vice President of Litigation at the institute said, “Union release time is blatantly unconstitutional.” He added, ““Release time is especially egregious in this context because it diverts police resources from the core law-enforcement mission.” That particular argument is a crock. But it worked in court.
Glendale shares details of deal with potential Phoenix Coyotes buyerPosted on June 04, 2012 | Type: Issue
A proposed 20-year agreement with a likely Phoenix Coyotes buyer may cost Glendale more than $45 per resident each year over the life of the deal. The city appears poised to pay a group led by former San Jose Sharks chief executive Greg Jamison nearly $325 million over 20 years to operate and make improvements to the city-owned Jobing.com Arena. An Arizona Republic analysis of a draft released Monday by the city showed Glendale expects to collect less than half that amount via ticket surcharges, rent, sales tax and other team fees during the same period. The Glendale City Council is expected to discuss the proposed agreement at a public workshop Thursday but the city has not set a time for the meeting nor has it scheduled a vote on the deal. A 4-3 council majority would be needed, and the vote is likely to come within a week. The agreement with Jamison follows a series of challenges for Glendale leaders. The city closed a $35 million spending gap in the upcoming year's budget with layoffs, tax hikes and service cuts. Glendale also has spent the past three years trying to secure a new owner for the Coyotes. The National Hockey League has owned the team since 2009 when then-owner Jerry Moyes entered the team into bankruptcy. A handful of potential buyers have come and gone and Glendale has pledged two, $25 million payments to the NHL to cover team losses. Glendale and NHL leaders are now banking on Jamison, a longtime sports executive who turned around another financially struggling West Coast hockey team, the San Jose Sharks. Jamison has said he hopes to capitalize on the Coyotes' deep playoff run this season to increase ticket sales and bring in more sponsorships for the team. But such success may not translate into smaller payments for Glendale.
Rich Man, Poor Man: Public Pensions and TaxpayersPosted on May 22, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Byron Schlomach
While state lawmakers are to be congratulated for passing a balanced budget and largely holding the line on spending increases, there is an unnecessary $11 million spending increase tucked in the nooks and crannies. That’s the additional contribution to the state’s financially troubled retirement funds for state workers.
Do sports teams really drive economic growth?Posted on May 08, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Stephen Slivinski
When economists take a look at the experience of numerous cities across the nation over the past 50 years, they discover that the presence of sports teams, stadiums, and arenas – particularly when subsidized by local governments – don't drive growth in employment or personal income.