Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Unexpected Revenue Flows Into State Coffers. That's Great News For Education. Right? Right?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Like the old song says:
"We're in the money,
We're in the money;
We've got a lot of what it takes to get along!"
Last month, the state brought in $84.4 million more in revenue than it expected. That's after an equally unexpected $66.1 million extra in October. Add them together and you get a $150.5 million windfall over two months. Wow.

It's time for Governor Ducey to hold a press conference. I suggest he wear a Santa hat on his head and a big grin on his face. If he's into theatrics, he can have a goodie bag slung over his shoulder as well. His opening statement: "I have a Christmas gift for all the children of Arizona. I'm committing any unexpected revenue the state receives to furthering their educations. If there are any Scrooges in the legislature who disagree with me [pulls a candy-cane shaped pen out of his pocket], I'm telling them right now, I will use this pen to veto any budget that doesn't include a sizable funding hike for education."

That pronouncement, I'm sure, will make Ducey feel so good, he'll decide to forego tax breaks for his rich buddies and devote his energies to bringing Arizona up from the per student spending cellar—that's where the lumps of coal we've been handing out to our children for too many years are stored—and into the cozy family room filled with warmth and good cheer, where every adult loves every child and wants nothing more than to make their present and future days brighter.

It's such a lovely holiday dream, so in keeping with the spirit of giving. I expect to be jarred awake soon, but for now, I'm cherishing the moment.

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