arizona state capitol

Arizona has joined a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas seeking to block an Obama administration directive that says public schools must let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

Chad Bricks/12News

A measure that would boost education funding by tapping the state's land trust is surging closer to a victory with new vote tallies.

The votes were enough for Gov. Doug Ducey to declare that Proposition 123 had been approved by voters. The Republican governor said Thursday evening that "the result is clear" and called the results a huge victory for public education in Arizona.

AP Photo/Matt York

Voters across Arizona head to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of education funding and pension overhaul measures at a special election.

The election will also test whether efforts Maricopa County took to avoid a repeat of the long lines seen during the March presidential primary worked. But another snag — the failure of the secretary of state to mail voter education pamphlets to at least 400,000 voters — has also marred the run-up to the election.

Arizona voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on an Education Finance Amendment, Proposition 123. It would settle a lawsuit brought against the state by public schools for failure to increase K-through-12 funding based on inflation during the recession. It would also give a $3.5-billion-dollar cash injection to public schools over the next 10 years. More than 60 percent of that money would come from the State Land Trust, given to Arizona upon statehood in 1912 as a means to generate revenue for schools. Opponents of Prop 123 say the settlement jeopardizes the land trust and should be paid entirely out of the state’s general fund. Supporters believe it’s an immediate opportunity to pump money into K-through-12 education. Both sides admit it’s a short term plan to the issue of school funding. KNAU reached out to voices on both sides of Prop 123. Morgan Abraham, a Tucson investment advisor and the chairman of the No on Prop 123 campaign, spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris. Flagstaff City Councilman, Jeff Oravits supports the amendment and spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius. 


The Arizona Republic

One of the two ballot propositions Arizona voters will decide in tomorrow’s special election is Prop 124. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it would reform the state’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.


KPHO/KTVK

A Chandler lawyer's request to have next week's special election postponed because hundreds of thousands of voters didn't receive their election guides in time was rejected Thursday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

The state's top legal officer said it was clear Secretary of State Michele Reagan's office violated the law, but there was no legal remedy available.

A frustrated Brnovich said cancelling the election would disenfranchise many more voters who have already cast early ballots than the more than 400,000 who didn't receive election publicity pamphlets.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation creating a comprehensive state policy on drone use that includes a ban on cities and towns making their own rules regulating the small aircraft.

Wednesday's action comes after Republican Sen. John Kavanagh, cities and towns and other groups negotiated on Senate Bill 1449. Businesses that hope to use drones commercially were pushing for uniform statewide rules.

Danny Miller/The Republic

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office failed to send out publicity pamphlets for next week’s special election to more than 200,000 households with multiple voters in all but Pima and Maricopa counties, her spokesman said Monday.

 

The error has prompted a Chandler attorney to prepare a request to the attorney general to postpone the May 17 election. Voters are being asked in Proposition 123 to boost withdraws from the state land trust to fund education and in Proposition 124 to overhaul the state police and firefighter pension system.

Arizona lawmakers are hoping to wrap up the 2016 legislative session, but first they have to complete votes on bills that have been stalled because of work on a state budget.

The Arizona House alone has set Friday votes on more than 130 bills. Senate calendars hadn't been posted late Thursday.

The House acted on only about two dozen bills Thursday and the Senate voted on a similar number.

Both chambers are aiming to adjourn the session Friday, but there's no guarantee that will happen.

Mark Henle/The Republic

The Arizona Legislature has passed a $9.6 billion budget after a week spent wrangling over additional funding for K-12 schools that wasn't included in the initial agreement.

Lawmakers debated until nearly 2 a.m. Wednesday morning before approving a spending package for the state budget year beginning July 1 that included a small increase in funding for several school line items.

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