Now that the elections are over, it is time for soon-to-be former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to call a special session of the soon-to-be former Arizona Legislative body and protect funding for public schools by suspending or permanently repealing the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL.)
That is the message of the current and future leaders of the Arizona House and Senate Democratic Caucus in an approximately two-minute video released earlier today (November 21, 2022.)
In the video, current Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios asked Governor Ducey:
“Do you want your final act as Governor to be breaking your word to our public schools, teachers, administrators, and students? Ninety percent of Arizona schoolchildren attend our public schools. It is just flat-out wrong to send our teachers and students into another semester of uncertainty and groveling for what we already approved for them.”
Current House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding said:
“From Page to Yuma, schools are going to be required to make disastrous budget cuts. For years, our schools have fallen behind because of poor funding. But that doesn’t have to be the case. The Aggregate Expenditure Limit no longer serves a purpose for our state, except to force our teachers and administrators to turn their attention away from our kids and back to begging the legislature to do our job. We already appropriated this money. Let’s stop playing games.”
Future Senate Democratic Leader (and current Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson) Raquel Teran relayed:
“Governor Ducey, the time is now. Campaigns have ended. The election is over and our public schools’ funding is still hanging in limbo. Hear us. Hear the voices of your state. You must call a special session today to provide Arizonans with an immediate AEL fix.”
Future House Democratic Leader Andres Cano offered:
“…Our caucus and every public school student is waiting on you, Governor Ducey. If not in the name of bipartisanship, do this for your legacy and every person who relies on Arizona’s public schools.”
The quartet completed their message with all of them saying:
“Governor. It’s time. Make the call.”
The Democratic leaders are right.
It is time for Doug Ducey to get off his pro-voucher tuchas and call a special session to relieve the financial and educational insecurity of the many children and educators in traditional and charter public schools.
It is actually past the time for Mr. Ducey to make the call.
Hopefully, he will not leave it for Governor-Elect Hobbs to fix the mess he and his plutocratic-loving colleagues in the State Legislature have created.
The AEL is a state-level version of the federal-level debt limit.
Dealing with it long-term would be an example of good governance trumping ideology, so Rs will avoid doing so.
One question this video does not answer is when are we set to hit the AEL again? Soon? Next year?
Early next year.