Senator Katie Hobbs, Senate Democratic Leader
Senator Steve Farley, Assistant Senate Democratic Leader
Senator Martin Quezada, Senate Democratic Whip
Senator Lupe Contreras, Senate Democratic Whip
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Caucus Leadership released the following statement on failed settlement talks in the K-12 inflation funding lawsuit and Republican legislative leaders’ vague proposal to increase educational funding:
“For years Republican leadership refused to fund education as required by voter initiative, refused to fund education when ordered by the courts and now they refuse to admit they are the problem, not the solution, for our state's educational failings.
“Don't believe the Republican spin; they are not coming to the rescue of Arizona schools. Republicans created the dire situation we are in by prioritizing tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy over the future of Arizona children. Even in the new budget passed this year, Republican leaders failed to fully fund the K-12 inflation funding lawsuit. Yet they gave away millions more in special interest tax cuts.
“With regard to inflation funding lawsuit settlement talks, Governor Ducey says he's "disappointed that has failed." Well, we are too. We are disappointed that Republican leaders refused to negotiate in good faith. We are disappointed they chose to announce a plan hatched behind closed doors with no clear source of funding. And we are deeply disappointed Republican leaders have left our children with struggling schools, overcrowded classrooms, crumbling buildings and a dysfunctional Department of Education.
“It is long past time for the Republican legislative leadership to step up, settle the inflation funding lawsuit and get the money flowing to classrooms throughout Arizona. We call on Senate President Andy Biggs, House Speaker David Gowan and Governor Ducey to end the legal posturing, call a special session and agree to a proposal that will fully fund the lawsuit settlement out of the General Fund budget and in a sustainable manner this school year. The citizens of Arizona are waiting and watching. Don’t let our schoolchildren down once again.”