Fw: Editorial Board l Arizona Coffers Offer Harsh Lesson for Texas lAustin American-Statesman l 29 Nov 2010
- From: "Calderon, Roberto" <beto@...>Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 22:24:55 -0600To: historia-l@...<historia-l@...>Cc: BBetzen@...<BBetzen@...>Subject: Editorial Board l Arizona Coffers Offer Harsh Lesson for Texas l Austin American-Statesman l 29 Nov 2010
29 November 2010
Accessed: 29 November 2010
Arizona coffers offer harsh lesson for Texas
Other committee findings included: Published: 6:35 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
As Texas legislators line up to introduce legislation emulating Arizona's get-tough approach on illegal immigration, they should study the economic impact on Arizona.
According to a report issued this month by the Center for American Progress — which describes itself as a non-partisan progressive think tank — Arizona's SB 1070 has cost the state $141 million that conventioneers might have spent. Researchers also said Arizona lost 2,761 jobs, $85 million in lost earnings and $9.4 million in tax revenue because of cancelled conventions and conferences that decided against meeting in Arizona because of the law.
"Not only has a federal judge blocked much of the legislation as unconstitutional, but this report also shows that the national backlash it triggered has significantly harmed the state's economy," Marshall Fitz and Angela Kelley, the center's researchers, concluded.
Predictably, the report has triggered a backlash of its own, but even if you cut those numbers in half, the hit on an already battered Arizona economy is significant.
According to the Arizona Legislature's joint budget committee, state revenue for the fiscal year that ended in June declined 10 percent over the previous year. Arizona has notched three consecutive years of decline.
The loss of 364,500 jobs since December 2007.
Negative state operating fund balances recorded in fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
A "structural deficit" — a gap between money collected and money spent — of $1.7 billion. That deficit is expected to narrow slightly to $1 billion then grow to nearly $2 billion in 2014, when a 1-cent sales tax adopted this year expires.
Arizona voters rejected two propositions that sought to divert money from early childhood education program and money for open space preservation to the general fund.
On top of all that, the state's credit rating has been downgraded.
Obviously not all of that bad news can be traced to the passage of SB 1070, but the law surely didn't help much.
What about the savings that accrue from chasing out illegal immigrants?
The Arizona Republic, Phoenix's daily newspaper, aggressively sought answers to that very question.
The newspaper reported that the biggest savings from a drop in the illegal immigrant population might be found in uncompensated health care. The newspaper estimated if the illegal immigrant population drops to zero, Arizona would save $24.3 million — about 7 percent of the state's uncompensated care expenditures.
Arizona law denies other social services, state officials told the newspaper. "This isn't to say that some illegal immigrants don't try to enroll in welfare, food stamps and the like," the newspaper reported, adding, "authorities must refer any attempts by noncitizens to enroll for public benefits to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Here's another little bit of data to digest: The University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy estimates that the total economic output attributable to Arizona's immigrant workers was $44 billion in 2004, which sustained roughly 400,000 full-time jobs.
People can dispute the numbers to a fare-thee-well, but to ignore them would be folly.
Legislators who ran campaigns saying government should be run like a business should be careful not to run the business into the ground to satisfy emotion.
The most conservative posture for Texas legislators to adopt next session is to weigh the information — not give in to emotion.
The tourism report is available at www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/11/az_tourism.html.
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From: On Behalf Of bbetzen@... [bbetzen@...]
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 7:45 PM
Subject: Arizona coffers offer harsh lesson for Texas
This was just published an hour ago and certainly reinforces what you just sent. Someday folks will see what is happening.