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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soundbites: Nov. 19

Editor in Chief Alex Dalenberg on this week’s headlines.

State Legislature still searching for budget answers

Arizona legislators began a special session this week aimed at reducing the state’s $2 billion budget shortfall. The Associated Press reports that proposed legislation would slash about $292.6 million from K-12 schools’ equipment purchases and from social services provided by the Department of Economic Security.

In the meantime, Arizona will have to borrow money for the first time ever, about $700 million, just to pay the bills through June 30.

Additionally, the Pew Center on the States has listed Arizona as one of nine states that are “”most like California”” and headed toward “”fiscal disaster.””

So yeah, we’re broke. Increasingly, it’s looking like the whole idea of “”Arizona”” just isn’t working out.

Maybe it’s time to consider having a going out of business sale. Everything must go. Governor Jan Brewer has already approved the sale of state buildings as a means to ease the budget crunch, but why stop there? Let’s sell the whole thing. If nothing else, the Grand Canyon is probably worth something. President Hu Jintao, are you listening?

Advocacy group sues over domestic partner benefits

Not only are we broke, we’re family-friendly, too.

State legislators stripped domestic partner health benefits from state employees in September, while keeping spousal health benefits for heterosexual workers.

Luckily, opponents of the measure aren’t backing down. Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization dedicated to LBGTQI issues, filed a federal lawsuit against the state Tuesday in hopes of blocking the move.

Lambda Legal might not win, but its efforts should be lauded. Stripping loyal state employees and their partners of health benefits is an outrage and immoral. Gay Arizonans undoubtedly serve this state in all capacities, some putting their lives on the line in dangerous professions such as the Highway Patrol, and are entitled to the same protections for their families as everybody else.

Don’t freak out about H1N1 vaccinations

Even with Campus Health’s free distribution of H1N1 vaccines, a new poll shows that more than half of Arizonans say they are not going to get the H1N1 inoculation, with concerns about the vaccine’s safety fueling much of the doubt. Dumb.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “”Life-threatening allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot is given.”” Additionally, ABC 15 in Phoenix reported that there have only been 67 adverse events from vaccinations in Arizona, none of them serious.

Washing your hands is smart, but if you really don’t want to come down with the swine, get the vaccination.

— Alex Dalenberg can be reached at editor@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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