Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Prop 123 pro and con

Pro: Daily Star columnist TimSteller argues that as bad as Prop 123 is, there is no Plan B.

The ballot proposition that we’ll be voting on in May would settle a lawsuit over education funding and establish a mechanism for funneling $3.5 billion to Arizona public schools over 10 years. Sounds great, right? But it would also:

  • Delay an inevitable tax increase for education, foisting it on future politicians.
  • Allow state legislators and the governor to use surpluses to cut taxes in the meantime.
  • Set an arbitrary cap, 49 percent, on the proportion of the state budget that can go to education.
  • Establish a horrible precedent for how the Legislature can flout the voters’ will.

There are other annoying aspects to the deal, brokered by Gov. Doug Ducey’s office, between state legislative leaders and representatives of the education groups suing the state. Those are just a few of the lowlights.

But here’s the catch. After talking, mulling and griping over all those drawbacks for months, I can’t help but conclude Prop. 123 is our only option.

You want a different deal? Then elect a different Legislature and governor.

Con: A letter to the Daily Star editor titled "Prop. 123 would sanction illegal behavior"

Re: the Feb. 6 article “Legislators push bills to bypass AZ voters.”

Republican legislators J.D. Mesnard and Bob Thorpe have crafted legislation to repeal voter initiatives they don’t like.

Given that, anyone undecided on whether to vote for or against Prop. 123 (the education funding/state land trust destroying bait-and-switch bill) should have no difficulty making a decision.

Prop. 123 will sanction the past illegal behavior of the governor and the Legislature regarding education funding and end lawsuits demanding they abide by the law. Does anyone believe that, given the chance and the money, they will actually use those funds for education?

As a former educator, I find it sad that our governor and Legislature hold public education and the children of Arizona in such disdain. I’m surprised that Mesnard and Thorpe have made their proposals public. Shouldn’t they have waited for Prop. 123 to pass, so they could “legally” repeal it or gut it?

Sharon Miller

SaddleBrooke

As Steller observed, the way to fix all this is to throw the bums out. But with the majority of voters in AZ being of like minds and agreeing with the bums, the Phouls in Phoenix will continue to trash public education and spit on voters.

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