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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Risky Business: Understanding the Business Side of Government BondsPosted on July 17, 2012 | Type: Investigative Report | Author: Mark Flatten
Three law firms dominate the legal work that goes into issuing state and local government debt in Arizona, according to a review of bond documents done by the Goldwater Institute. That finding is consistent with what bond lawyers and government officials have said in interviews about the industry.
A Tale of Two CitiesPosted on June 28, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Stephen Slivinski
It was almost like the gold rush all over again in Stockton, California. With booming property values and tax revenue during the past decade, city coffers were flush and cash was flying to sports arenas, retail centers, office buildings, and parking garages.
The Gift Clause: Big Government KryptonitePosted on June 25, 2012 | Type: Issue
Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election victory and California ballot measures garnered the bulk of headlines this month. The results indicate voters are fed up with runaway government spending and lavish government union contracts. While collective bargaining and pension reform are steps in the right direction in Arizona, an institutional tool is resurfacing that will allow Americans to directly challenge wasteful spending.
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.