Monday, February 2, 2015

Another education funding lawsuit is on its way

Lots of good stuff this morning at Blog for Arizona. Here is a summary of where things stand on [de]funding of public education by the AZLEG from AZBlueMeanie. Meanie makes the case for the unconstitutionality of the legislature's refusal to do its job (read raise revenue) and properly fund our schools.

... Our lawless Arizona legislature routinely violates two provisions of the Arizona Constitution out of ideological opposition to government, public education, and taxes:

Article XI, Section 6: The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible. The legislature shall provide for a system of common schools by which a free school shall be established and maintained in every school district for at least six months in each year, which school shall be open to all pupils between the ages of six and twenty-one years.

Article IX, Section 3: The legislature shall provide by law for an annual tax sufficient, with other sources of revenue, to defray the necessary ordinary expenses of the state for each fiscal year. And for the purpose of paying the state debt, if there be any, the legislature shall provide for levying an annual tax sufficient to pay the annual interest and the principal of such debt within twenty-five years from the final passage of the law creating the debt.

Our lawless Arizona legislature has for years been in violation of the Arizona Constitution because: (1) it is failing to provide for the cost of public education, and (2) it refuses to raise taxes sufficient "to defray the necessary ordinary expenses of the state for each fiscal year."

I would add a third constitutional violation: a judgment is an enforceable debt, and our lawless Arizona legislature’s refusal to comply with a lawful judgment of the Court on the specious ground that "we don’t have the money to pay it" (read: "we refuse to raise taxes to pay for it") is also a violation of Article IX, Section 3. Our lawless Arizona legislature is a deadbeat debtor.

Solving this problem is going to require the repeal of Prop. 108 (1992), the "Two-Thirds for Taxes" Amendment, Arizona Constitution Article 9, Section 22, as a necessary prerequisite to raising taxes sufficient "to defray the necessary ordinary expenses of the state for each fiscal year," as required by the Arizona Constitution.

Read Meanie's post for details on the new lawsuit.

 

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