In an interim victory for the proponents of Prop. 208 ("Invest In Ed"), Superior Court Judge John Hannah refused to slap an expedited preliminary injunction against the income tax surcharge that will help fund Arizona schools.
Republican leaders of the both the State House and Senate have teamed up with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and other opponents of the measure passed by voters in November to sue the state to overturn it. They had asked for an accelerated ruling on their preliminary injunction request because the Legislature was about to begin a new session and would have to consider a new budget.
Judge Hannah knocked that down, while saying "the Court holds that increased expenditure of time and effort that an initiative measure may cause at the Legislature cannot be a cognizable injury that weighs in favor of a preliminary injunction."
The Court will nevertheless do its best to issue the balance of the ruling Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (With Notice) and Preliminary Injunctive Relief shortly. But it will do so because of the priority afforded motions for preliminary injunctions under the Rules of Civil Procedure, and as a courtesy to the parties, not as an effort to adhere to a schedule based on the business of the legislature.
Hannah also questioned whether the lawmakers have standing to make that argument. And, more importantly, he bluntly disposed of one of plaintiffs' key arguments. Opponents of the measure claim that the initiative violated the Arizona Constitution by prohibiting the lawmakers from reducing appropriations to the state's public schools in response to the new dedicated revenue stream. (aka the "no supplant" provision)
"Simply put, the "no supplant" clause is directed at the school districts and charter schools that receive the Proposition 208 funds. It does not limit or affect what the legislature does with general fund revenues," said Hannah.
Here is the Court's interim ruling:"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.