I wanted to share with you the following statement the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry submitted in favor of Proposition 123. This argument will appear in the Secretary of State’s publicity pamphlet before the special election next May.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly supports Proposition 123, which will inject $3.5 billion into our K-12 public schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes.
Passage of the proposition would mean an end to a lengthy and contentious lawsuit that has racked up legal bills and put the health of our entire state budget at risk.
The tax reforms that have helped make Arizona a magnet for new jobs are safe under passage of Proposition 123, and other spending priorities such as our universities, public safety and health care are on much firmer ground. Proposition 123 also protects the state’s general fund should we experience another economic downturn.
The plan calls for adding about $300 per student per year. This is substantial. Increased dollars will support our robust public school choice environment and advance the reforms that have led Arizona to be a leader in closing the achievement gap and in producing nationally distinguished charter and district schools.
Arizona’s state land trust account has swelled to over $5 billion, while distributions have remained at a level below the minimum distribution required by law for private charitable trusts. The plan calls for boosting distributions from the trust in a way that increases spending for our kids in school today, while protecting the trust for future generations.
The proposal’s passage is critical to Arizona’s future. Our Governor, legislative leadership, and the education community have done their part in forging this historic settlement. For our kids to reap the benefits, it’s time we do ours.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges you to vote yes on Proposition 123.
Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce