Friday, October 30, 2015

AZ House approves Kicking Kids initiative

House Republicans were unanimous in their support, Democrats' opposition was ineffective, and voters will have the final say. Here are the essential snippets from The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required).

The Arizona House of Representatives worked late into the night Thursday to approve a $3.5 billion education finance package aimed at settling a long-running lawsuit over education funding.

Republicans in the chamber unanimously supported all three measures in the package, while Democrats split the difference and supported one bill in the all-or-nothing deal. The package still needs approval from the Senate, and then the Arizona voters at a May 17 special election.

Gov. Doug Ducey called lawmakers back to the Capitol in a special session on Wednesday to approve the package, but after a day full of stops and starts, the Senate ended its work at 5 p.m. Thursday, leaving the House to do its business.

Senate President Andy Biggs of Gilbert said the chamber would come back Friday morning to approve the package.

Democrats in the House unsuccessfully attempted to kill or amend the package. After failing to do so, however, Democrats decided to support the bill appropriating the money, but oppose the measures asking voters to approve changes to the Arizona Constitution and authorizing a special election in May to do so.

The entire package is conditional upon voter approval. If voters don’t approve the constitutional changes at a statewide special election on May 17, the schools won’t see an additional penny.

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