This letter was sent on behalf of AHPA members today related to the budget bill that was introduced this morning, April 1st. 

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April 1, 2011

Honorable Janice K. Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 W. Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Re:  Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Proposal

Governor Brewer,

On behalf of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association, who represents sworn and civilian members of the Department of Public Safety, I am writing to request your veto of any budget bills that contain the following provisions that we strongly oppose:

  1. An increase in the employee contribution rate for ASRS members is a potential violation of the contract clause of the Arizona Constitution entered into by employees.  It is also viewed as a move to balance the budget on the backs of state employees who have already shared much of the burden over the past 3 years. 
  2. There is no provision to hold state employees harmless for potential health insurance cost increases.
  3. The waiting period placed on new employees for membership into ASRS along with a 90-day waiting period for obtaining health insurance benefits will only hamper the state’s ability to recruit and retain qualified employees, particularly those within the civilian classifications of public safety.

Many of the provisions within the budget bills, particularly SB1614, were never discussed prior to being included in House Appropriations.  As “last minute” insertions into the budget, we are strongly opposed to them and would ask for your veto. 

You have consistently supported our organization and agency, and for that, we thank you.  Balancing the budget is necessary, however, doing so on the backs of dedicated, hard-working employees is detrimental and will only widen the gap that exists between the public and private sectors.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Chavez, President
Arizona Highway Patrol Association

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