Journalists Roundtable: Prop 208

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Laurie Roberts from the Arizona Republic, Jim Small from Arizona Mirror and Steve Goldstein from KJZZ all join Ted to discuss the major topics of the week.

Here are the topics for the week:

  • Judge Tossing Prop 208
  • Changes to Precinct Committee Selections
  • Townsend vs. Rogers
  • Bill to Post Ballot Images Online Fails
  • Bill to Give AG More Election Investigative Power Fails
  • 15 Week Abortion Bill Advances
  • Transgender Bans Advance

Was it not a surprise that prop 208 did not pass?

Small: “No, not a surprise. Last summer the Arizona Supreme Court had ruled essentially that tax increase that voters approved for 2020 on wealthier Arizonans in order to fund public schools that it was likely to be unconstitutional, that it appeared it was going to violate another constitutional limit on school spending. They basically sent the case back to the trial court and what we got today was the trial court judge issuing his ruling after holding a trial earlier this year.”

The Republican Response was one of big celebration.

Roberts: “Oh, jubilation. It was immediate and it was strong and it was almost as if they forgot that fifty one, almost fifty two percent of Arizona voters did pass this and so there they are cheering on that they were able to thwart the will of the voters. It was a little surprising. I was expecting a little more muted response, because as Jim said, this was an expected thing. This was hardly anything that anyone was surprised about and yet their reaction was as un-muted as you could get.”

Did the judge somewhat reluctantly make this ruling?

Goldstein: “What was interesting was the juxtaposition between actually politics and the letter of the law. Which is the most fascinating part of this. I can see the different citations he made in it.”

What is going to happen to the budget?

Small: “Well, I think this brings us back to the debate we were having for the first couple months at the legislative session. This limit exists, right, it was passed by voters in 1980. It was designed basically to accommodate 1980 educational costs. We don’t live in 1980, we have a much different educational system now… there’s a lot of different things in there, and they all cost money… For all the people saying this is unconstitutional, yes, obviously according to the courts it is, but there are paths around it and the legislature is going to opt not to take them.”

Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic; Jim Small, Arizona Mirror; Steve Goldstein, KJZZ

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