Letter to the Editor: Joan A. Murphy published in the Herald/Review 12/17/19
Some people are actually paying attention to how Arizona Governor Duecy and the GOP lead legislature have continued to shortchange education by overstepping their authority and the wishes of the public. Joan A. Murphy's letter to the editor details that a judge recently ruled that indeed the governor and legislature raided the stand land trust fund principle to fund schools. The continued diversion of taxpayer funds from their original intent needs to stop. One way to solve this problem is to elect some state legislators that will stand up to the fiscal abuse of the governor. Another way is for people to complain! - Bob Karp
Ms. Murphy's letter in it's entirety is worth a read and follows:
The Arizona Legislature has been playing around diverting public funds meant for specific needs for a while now. They finally overstepped their bounds and got caught. Ducey went off at Judge Wake, whose finding was that the Legislature and the governor raided the state land trust principle in order to fund schools. (That drastic action was taken after a lawsuit was filed by an association of school boards against the Legislature for diverting funds generated by a voter-approved sales tax designated specifically for education).
The Judge’s finding was based on the fact that the Enabling Act when Arizona became a state in 1912 required that the revenue generated from the sale of land donated by the federal government to the state be placed in a trust. Arizona has the authority to distribute interest generated by the trust for education, but not the principle. The judge ruled that Arizona should have obtained congressional approval in order to tap into the principle of the trust. Sounds pretty straight forward to this voter and pretty important as the legislature’s penchant for taking from “Peter to pay Paul” has gone on and on. When applied to a finite thing such as a land trust – it could have depleted it to all our detriment. Taking from the principle already meant less generation of interest.
The state Legislature and governor have made it a habit to overlook voter’s express wishes and needs and have constantly diverted funds (highway user funds, for example). They never seem to have trouble finding money to give businesses tax breaks, however. I’m tired of their attempts to lure businesses to the state. Why would a business relocate to a state that doesn’t give enough funding to properly educate a workforce and does not keep up roads or public transport – both necessary to a growing business.
The additional need for trials and expenditure of time and money – all unnecessary if Ducey “and company” would stay within the bounds of the law and stop diverting funds. The railing at the judge was over the top!