Breaking News

Judge Orders State to Reset School Funding Level to Comply with Voter Approved Inflation Funding Requirement

When the Arizona Supreme Court held in September 2013 that as a voter approved law, Prop. 301 required the legislature to increase the funding formula for public schools in order to keep pace with inflation, it remanded the case back to the trial court determine the appropriate remedy.  In a ruling dated July 2, 2014 and filed July 10, 2014, Judge Katherine Cooper ordered that the base level funding be reset to the level it would have been if it had been inflated properly over the last 5 years.  This "reset" represents about $250 million in the first year going forward.  Judge Cooper also ordered that an evidentiary hearing be held on whether the state should be required to pay the money lost in the preceding 5 years, to determine whether school districts could legitimately spend the retroactive amount ($1.3 billion) and whether the state has the money to pay it.  This ruling is a big win for public education!  You can read the decision  here.  

Education

Center files Amicus Brief in Biggs v. Brewer

On June 24, 2014, the Center. along with the Morris Institute for Justice, filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit challenging the legislature's expansion of Medicaid.  In 2013, at the request of the Governor, the legislature passed a law to take full advantage of the increased available federal funding under the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act to expand Medicaid to adults with income between 100-133% of the federal poverty level, and restore AHCCCS benefits to those childless adults with income up to 100% of the federal poverty level, the Proposition 204 group who had been subject to a freeze on enrollment in 2011.  The Center and Institute for Justice had previously challenged that freeze in Fogliano v. Brain.  The amicus brief is attached.  

A Big Win for the San Pedro River

On June 10, 2014, the Maricopa County Superior Court vacated a finding of adequate water supply by the Arizona Department of Water Resources for a proposed deveopment of 7000 homes in Sierra Vista.  The judge held that ADWR abused its discretion and acted contrary to law when, in its assessment of the water's legal availability for 100 years, it refused to consider the federal reserved rights held by the Bureau of Land Management for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.  This represents a big win for those trying to protect the San Pedro River!  

Environment