AZ Supreme Court sends Prop. 305 to the ballot (unless the AZ Lege sabotages it)

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled Voters can decide whether to keep school-voucher expansion:

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that voters get to have a say on Proposition 305, a ballot initiative that asks if they want to keep or do away with an expansion of the state’s school voucher-style program.

The Empowerment Scholarship Account program currently allows only certain students to apply for the program, including special-needs students and those from poor-performing schools. The program gives parents public money and allows them to spend it on private school tuition, educational materials and therapies.

Last year, Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican lawmakers narrowly passed legislation (the “vouchers on steroids” bill) to expand eligibility to all 1.1 million public students but capping the program at about 30,000.

A mostly grassroots group of parents and public-education advocates called Save Our Schools Arizona collected enough signatures to refer the expansion to the November 2018 ballot.

But supporters of the expansion — the “Kochtopus” and their Tea-Publican lackeys in the legislature — waged a legal battle to try to keep the initiative off the November ballot.

The decision from the high court deals a final court blow to those supporters and upholds a lower court decision.

“We are grateful to be done with the distraction of their groundless lawsuit,” according to a statement Wednesday from Save Our Schools Arizona co-founder Beth Lewis.

“We’ve known all along that our statewide volunteer network of parents, teachers and retirees played by the rules in our effort to protect public education and honor the will of Arizona voters.

“With this ruling, we can finally focus on our main objective: educating Arizona voters about the problems with Proposition 305 and the harm it causes to Arizona schools and communities.”

Not so fast … Rust never sleeps and neither does the machinations of evil GOP bastards. The Arizona Capitol Times adds, State high court says vote on voucher expansion can proceed:

The only thing that could keep the issue off the ballot now is if lawmakers who support vouchers make any sort of change in the law. That would void the petitions since the bill they referred to the ballot would no longer exist.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard said the Legislature has three options: repeal the voucher expansion law, which he said was “exceedingly unlikely,” repeal and replace, or let it go to the ballot.

“I think it’s one of the latter two issues many of us are going to be discussing,” he told the Arizona Capitol Times.

Personally, Mesnard said, “We’re perfectly willing to have the discussion with the voters at the ballot. We would certainly do that.”

Remember what the evil GOP bastards did with the citizens referendum of the omnibus election law reform (GOP voter suppression) bill a few years ago: they sabotaged it by repealing the bill, nullifying the referendum which never appeared on the ballot, They then came back the next year and enacted their voter suppression measures in a piecemeal fashion, making a citizens referendum virtually impossible. The evil GOP bastards got what they wanted.

If Prop. 305 goes to the ballot and the “vouchers on steroids” bill is defeated, that result will be protected by the Voter Protection Act.

The “Kochtopus” and their Tea-Publican lackeys in the legislature likely do not want to risk this.

Keep a close eye on the evil GOP bastards in the waning days of this legislative session.

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