Sunday, October 25, 2015

School funding deal revealed soon: But who is at the table?

My bet on table seats? Biggs. Gowan. Ducey.

Noticeably absent? State Treasurer Jeff DeWit. Diane Douglas. Public Instruction. First Things First.

Here are snippets from the story in this morning's Daily Star/tucson.com.

A deal in principle has been reached to settle a long-running lawsuit over school funding, and Republican members of the Arizona Legislature have been notified to come to the Capitol for briefings starting Monday, Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs said late Saturday.

Biggs said documents were being prepared over the weekend, and he will brief members of his Republican caucus Monday and Tuesday. House Speaker David Gowan notified Republican House members to come to the Capitol on Tuesday.

Biggs would not provide details of the agreement, saying "It would be unfair for them to find out anything from the media."

Translation: "I want them to know only what I feed them." Having a public policy debate in public is not the M. O. in Phoenix.

Nevertheless, the GOPlins are charging ahead.

[State House Speaker David] Gowan told his members in an email Saturday afternoon to come to the Capitol for briefings on Tuesday and be available for the rest of the week in case a special legislative session is called.

However, there are a couple of potholes to be navigated. First any deal has to pass in both House and Senate. The GOP has majorities but that is no guarantee that some of the GOPlins won't prefer to kick the kids down the road. Second, the voters will have to approve parts of any deal that raid First Things First and/or the state land trust.

Will the Dems in the state lege have a say? The report on the impending deal by The Republic/azcentral.com suggests otherwise.

House Minority Leader Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley, said he had not yet been briefed on the proposal.

I have this sinking feeling that the Biggs plan might mean Littles for public ed. But we will see come tomorrow.

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