Sunday, May 22, 2016

Prop 123 is step 1, change the legislature is step 2

The political dust around Prop 123 has settled, sort of. Prop 123 passed by a slim margin. Il Duce wraps himself in the cloak of the good guy. Teachers look forward to raises. Law suits are threatened. And the lawless legislature, the TeaPublicans who defied the will of the people and refused to provide mandated funds to public ed, is still in place. Any way you cut it, the legislature broke the law, thumbed their noses at court orders, and dissed the voters of Arizona. So, people of Arizona, take to the streets and campaign against any legislator who voted against funding for education. Kick the SOBs out in November. Now that Step 2, if it comes to pass, would be a reason to celebrate.

For a more articulate plea for action by the people, see today's op-ed by former TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone in the Daily Star. Part of it is reprinted here.

The position each of us was placed in is cause for great concern. Prop. 123 is a symptom of a much greater problem. We elect legislators and governors to represent the will of the people. We expect that when citizens speak through the ballot proposition process, as they did by passing Proposition 301 years ago, the legislative branch of government will respect their decision.

However, when the Legislature simply refuses to follow the law and ignore Prop. 301 funding for schools, and that refusal goes to the courts for adjudication, we should certainly expect that the decision from the judicial branch will rule.

And when that does not happen, the answer should not be a conceding agreement that is less than what we, the people, voted for — and what has been described by legislative leadership as “the best you are going to get.”

When this happens, there should be public outrage. The fact that Arizona policy seems to be accomplished too often by ballot proposition and/or litigation is a travesty. When even those methods are subverted by the Legislature simply because it can force its will on citizens, that is both unacceptable and dangerous.

Make your feelings known now, in November and beyond. Be sure the people elected to represent you are doing so or they cannot be your representatives — that is our right and our obligation.

We cannot allow our sense of indignation and injustice to subside now that the election is over. We must make our frustrations and concerns known through political action that supports what we believe.

The time for sitting on the sidelines is over.

We, the people, need to take corrective action against a legislature that has run amok. The Republican majority is behaving illegally and unconstitutionally. They need to go.

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