Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake blasted her Democrat opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, for taking a week to reject a referendum to stop Arizona’s universal Empowerment Scholarship Account law from going into effect, despite evidence already showing the motion failed.
“It is shameful that Katie Hobbs aligned herself with the radical unions’ effort to permanently trap Arizona’s kids in failing schools, then hung Arizona’s parents out to dry for a week by suspending the school choice program despite overwhelming evidence the referendum failed to get enough signatures,” Lake said in a statement to the Arizona Sun Times. “Katie Hobbs is on the side of corrupt, bloated school bureaucracies, but I will never stop fighting to give Arizona’s parents more choice in their children’s schools and more control over their children’s education.”
Arizona officials are now calling out Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to expedite the signature counting process for the referendum against Arizona’s Universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) law, including the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Ben Toma (R-Maricopa).
“We expect that your office will have formally rejected the referendum petition as legally insufficient no later than the opening of business on Friday morning,” Toma said in a letter to Hobbs. “If the full and effective implementation of H.B. 2853 continues to be obstructed, the Arizona House of Representatives will exercise its constitutional oversight function in order to find facts and ultimately to determine what, if any, legislation may be required to prohibit, deter, and penalize such dishonesty in future campaigns and administrations, and to ensure that the statutory procedures for filing and processing ballot measure petitions cannot be manipulated to enable such misconduct.”
An Arizona mother and leader of the “Decline to Sign Arizona” movement, Christine Accurso, shared that there is hope for Arizona’s universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) law as Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ) may not have submitted enough valid signatures to pause the law from going into effect.
“ESA’s for all coming soon! As we patiently await the official word from the Secretary of State’s office, Arizona parents declare the victory over this battle. The 88,866 signatures that were submitted are well below the minimum of 118,832,” tweeted Accurso.
Arizona State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) fired back at the Director of Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ), Beth Lewis, after being called a ‘MAGA extremist’ Sunday.
“Expressing our beliefs is the foundation of democracy not interfering with it. Instead of name calling try using substantive and persuasive facts to sell your perspective. Otherwise you simply come off as a simpleton,” Ugenti-Rita tweeted.
Arizona is likely to become the first state in America that empowers students to take tax dollars with them to a school of their choosing.
Lawmakers sent House Bill 2853 to Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday. When the governor signs the bill, all of Arizona’s school-age children will be eligible for the Empowerment Scholarship Account. An ESA is a state-funded account that parents can spend on tuition and other education expenses. The program is currently limited to disabled students, those in failing schools or others that qualify in a handful of other methods.
Voters in Arizona will have the chance to strike down the largest personal income tax cut in state history.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs notified Gov. Doug Ducey’s office Friday that her office certified a ballot initiative to appear on the November 2022 general election ballot. Designated as Proposition 307, the initiative needs a simple majority to vote “no” to strike down Senate Bill 1828. The law gradually flattens Arizona’s progressive income tax to 2.5%.