Friday, April 6, 2018

UPDATE: Should State/Schools Have To Return Money To Trust Fund - Judge Gives Plaintiff 10 Days To Decide On #Prop123 Education Funding Lawsuit

U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake has set a status conference for April 16 on the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's Prop. 123 to increase school funding, and has ordered the Plaintiff to decide whether he thinks the state and/or schools should have to return millions of dollars to the land trust set up by the U.S. when Arizona became a state. The hearing comes after he declared the voter-approved Propositions improper.

In his decision on March 26, Judge Wake asked the parties to come up with a schedule to brief the issues presented by Congress' after-the-fact blessing of both Props. 118 and 123. They did, while noting that the Plaintiff had not yet "decided whether to dispute the retroactive effects of the 2018 Act."

On the other hand, Governor Doug Ducey, who was the primary proponent of both Propositions - in 2012 as State Treasurer and in 2016 as Governor - strongly states that Congress gave complete absolution:
Congress expressly consented to the annual distributions made from the permanent funds under Proposition 118 (through fiscal year 2014-2015), and the annual distributions made from the permanent funds under Proposition 123 (from fiscal years 2015-2016 through 2024-2025).
The Plaintiff's uncertainty likely led Judge Wake to decide that he now wants the attorneys to come into Court at 1:30 on the 16th to discuss the briefing schedule. "Plaintiff shall
be prepared to address whether he now seeks any remedy, and if so, what remedy," the Order concludes.

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