Prop 208’s new funding stream for schools was a big loser in GOP-controlled Legislature. Here’s what comes next. – 12news.com KPNX

Also on ‘Sunday Square Off’: What’s at stake in redistricting and how hearing before 9 men helped women in Arizona prisons get access to feminine hygiene products

PHOENIX — One of the biggest losers in the Legislative session that ended last week was Proposition 208. 

Just eight months ago Arizona voters approved a projected new $800 million funding stream for schools. Now Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and fellow GOP lawmakers have cut off access to a big source of that cash. 

Prop 208 supporters are fighting back. 

They filed paperwork late last week that starts the process of putting Ducey’s record tax cut to a statewide vote next year. 

They also plan to ask voters to weigh in on a bill that could wipe out hundreds of millions of dollars from the Prop 208 revenue stream. The legislation, SB 1783, awaits Ducey’s signature to become law.

The governor “did a lot to undo the will of the voters,” Rebecca Gau, one of the leaders of last year’s Prop 208 ballot initiative, said on this weekend’s “Sunday Square Off.”

“He significantly reduced the amount of income that we expect to come into the Prop 208 fund and also slashed taxes in general,” Gau said. “That extreme revenue cut is also going to be bad for Arizona schools and children.” 

Gau is executive director of Phoenix-based Stand for Children Arizona, a non-profit that works to give all children a quality education. She’s a former education adviser to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

Stand for Children and the Arizona Education Association – the state’s teachers union – played a major role in funding and advocating for Proposition 208. 

They filed the paperwork Friday to refer the tax cut to the 2022 ballot. 

A Ducey spokesman told Capitol Media Services he wouldn’t comment unless referendum supporters got enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. 

In a statement last week, Ducey said the recently concluded legislative session “will go down in history as one of the most successful… in recent memory.”

Prop 208 still faces a constitutional challenge before the Arizona Supreme Court. The court heard arguments in April. A ruling is pending. 

Also on this weekend’s “Square Off”:

-The Arizona Mirror’s Jeremy Duda explains what’s at stake as Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts are redrawn for the 2022 elections. 

Starting July 22, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will hear from citizens at forums in all 15 counties. You can get more information here. 

-Democratic State Rep. Athena Salman shares the years-long struggle to give women in Arizona prisons easier access to feminine hygiene products. A new state law will assure their needs are met. 

Salman says a hearing three years ago before an all-male, nine-member House committee was a turning point.

“Sunday Square Off” airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC’s “Meet the Press,” with moderator Chuck Todd.

Sunday Square Off

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