I despise Twitter, so I do not have an account. But if I did I would reply to this Tweet this way:
Fred Duval, blink three times if Governor Ducey is holding you hostage. Another victim of Stockholm Syndrome?
First of all, both Governor Ducey and Fred Duval are wealthy political elites who send their sons to private schools, citing the faith-based orientation of the schools. Governor hopefuls pick private schools for their kids. Ducey’s sons attend Brophy College Preparatory. DuVal sends his son to a pre-kindergarten school at All Saints Episcopal. Neither is directly impacted by Prop. 123.
Secondly, DuVal acknowledged that the plan isn’t what he would have proposed if he’d been elected governor. “Is it exactly the plan that I would’ve drafted had I won? No,” DuVal said, “But I didn’t. Doug won. But it is the plan that reflects the politics of the moment … and I am confident that it is a floor not a ceiling and that we will go beyond 123 into a multiyear strategy.” ‘Odd couple’: Ducey, former rival DuVal pair up for Prop. 123 ad .
DuVal also sent out an email captioned “Prop 123 – Letter to supporters,” in which he asserts, as all supporters of Prop. 123 repeat ad nauseam, “Proposition 123 will provide additional funding immediately and allocate $3.5 billion dollars to our kids’ schools over the next decade.”
This is Arizona, people. If Prop. 123 passes, shortly after the vote has been certified by the Secretary of State a lawsuit will be filed to challenge the legality of provisions of Prop. 123.
One of the counts of any such lawsuit will be for injunctive relief to restrain the distribution of funds from the state land trust for education in order to preserve the status quo and the corpus of the trust until a trial on the merits has been finally concluded. That could take a couple of years. The school districts are not going to see any money “immediately.” Supporters are misleading the public.
As attorney Diane Post wrote in an op-ed for the Arizona Capitol Times: “Many good-hearted people have encouraged supporting Prop. 123 because they claim it is a good start and injects badly needed money immediately into the classroom, unfortunately, they are wrong. First, there will be a lawsuit regarding whether or not the enabling act requires Congressional approval to implement the Proposition. During the lawsuit, which could take several years, no monies will be sent to classrooms.”
State Treasurer Jeff DeWit on Thursday promised legal action on two fronts related to Prop. 123. Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit pitches alternatives to Proposition 123:
“We have the money to solve the lawsuit without raiding the trust fund,” DeWit said, pointing to charts showing future surpluses currently expected to top $1 billion by fiscal 2019. He said he plans to ask the judge overseeing the case against the state to adopt his plan after the May 17 vote.
[That’s a non-stater. The parties to the lawsuit have agreed to the proposed settlement.]
Another Prop. 123 opponent, attorney Tom Ryan, said he plans to ask Attorney General Mark Brnovich to examine whether events at businesses in support of Prop. 123 run afoul of the state’s rules against offering inducements to voters.
Treasurer DeWit is also likely to file a lawsuit challenging Prop. 123 as being inconsistent with Arizona’s Enabling Act, as he has asserted in his arguments against Prop 123 (.pdf). If he doesn’t, someone else most certainly will. This is where the injunctive relief is likely to come into play.
The key for DeWit is a sudden influx of cash to the state’s coffers, partly reflecting an improving economy.
Arizona has taken in $400 million more in cash than it has ever had before, offering an alternative to settling the school-funding lawsuit that doesn’t risk the land trust fund, DeWit said Thursday.
“We knew it was going to be big, and as it kept coming and kept coming, it was a record haul,” DeWit said. “It is the highest in the history of Arizona. I don’t know how in good conscience we can let the voters vote on a measure that assumes the state is broke without telling them that we have more money than we’ve ever had.”
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DeWit favors leaving the trust fund distributions at 2.5 percent and using the surplus to provide the same amounts promised to schools under Prop. 123.
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At least four former state treasurers, all of them Republicans, also oppose the measure, mostly because they consider it a threat to the land trust.
The Treasurers who actually managed the state land trust funds presumably know what they are talking about. Maybe you should listen to them. Arizona State Treasurers raise big red flag on Prop. 123.
And then there are the “triggers” in Prop. 123 that make it an Illusory Promise. The Republic’s E.J. Montini has more on this today. P.S. Prop. 123 is also like Russian roulette (Boom):
[I] had a few politically and mathematically gifted people explain to me in simple, laymen’s terms, what these “triggers” in the proposition are.
One of them described them this way: “It’s like Russian roulette, only Arizona style. Taxpayers hold Prop. 123 to their heads and the Legislature gets to pull the ‘trigger.'”
In this instance, “trigger” is essentially a loophole.
Prop. 123 backers talk about this big infusion of money that our schools will be getting for the next ten years. (They don’t talk much about how it’s money we’d lift from the state land trust — our kids’ inheritance — while pretending it is a gift to our kids.)
In mathematical terms the plan would increase annual withdrawals from the land trust fund from 2.5 percent to 6.9 percent for a decade.
Unless…one of the “triggers” kicks in.
For example, the Legislature can weasel out of its financial obligation to the schools if the payout from the trust fund lessens the value of the trust fund.
Lawmakers also could hold the money back if the state’s sales tax revenue and employment rate don’t increase by more than 2 percent.
And they could withhold fund if the K-12 portion of the state budget reaches 49 percent or more of the general fund.
I’ve been told this means Arizona probably won’t catch up to the rest of the nation when it comes to school funding — or even come close — as long as Prop. 123 is in place.
Even the promise of an immediate infusion of money might not be true if a different kind of “trigger” kicks in — a lawsuit.
See the discussion above.
When it comes to Prop. 123, the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” definitely applies.