Legislative Update with Representative Bolding

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State lawmakers continue to look at ways to overhaul Arizona’s system for funding public education. And the state has joined a lawsuit to prevent the ending of an order that allows border officials to turn away asylum seekers due to public health concerns. We talked about all this with House Minority Leader, Representative Reginald Bolding.

Proof-of-Citizenship Laws

The state legislature and governor have approved H.B 2492, which would require Arizonans to provide proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections. Previous measures already required proof of citizenship to vote in state or local elections.

“The Supreme Court said states cannot set their own rules for federal elections,” Bolding said. “Here in Arizona we already have some of the most robust measures in place to ensure that everyone who’s voting is a citizen and eligible to vote, and by signing this bill the state will have the ability to decide who is eligible to vote in federal elections, which we already know is unconstitutional on it’s face.”

According to Bolding, this is an intentional attempt to have the prior rulings overturned.

“If the question is did the Republicans strategize to create a bill that’s unconstitutional with the hopes that now because they stacked the courts they’re going to get a more favorable ruling, the answer is yes,” Bolding said. “This has already been litigated in 2013. The Supreme Court of the United States made a decision. Now we’re gonna waste tax payer dollars relitigating something that already took place.”

School funding overhaul

Last month, a Republican-backed bill to overhaul the Arizona school funding formula was rushed through the Arizona House Appropriations Committee. Since then, the bill has not seemed to move forward.

“Right now, what we’ve heard is that there’s an attempt to take away what they need by passing a repeal-and-replace law. We haven’t heard anything yet. The last thing we heard was that there were negotiations taking place among Republicans.” Bolding said. “Not all of the Republican Caucus agreed to a repeal-and-replace, so we’re just in limbo unless they come work with Democrats on a law that we think would actually benefit the state of Arizona and our kids.”

This comes after Proposition 208, a ballot measure passed by voters that would have increased education funding was ruled unconstitutional by the Maricopa County Superior last month.

“What we know is that our schools are severely underfunded, and what we know is that Prop 208 would have provided over 1 billion dollars annually to our school system so we could fill some of those gaps. So we’re along of believing that first we have to fill the holes in the leaky bucket, we have to fill the holes in the bucket and ensure that our schools are receiving the resources that they need and then look what other mechanism to put in place,” Bolding said. “Right now we can’t even get past step A.”

 

Rep. Reginald Bolding, (D) District 27

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