Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Prop 123 Hanging on by a Thread

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2016 at 8:19 AM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2016-05-18_at_8.16.08_am.png
Prop 123, the controversial school-funding initiative, was narrowly passing when the vote counters went to bed last night—and when I say narrowly, I mean it: Just 8,789 votes separated the Yes votes from the No votes.

The measure, which would add $3.5 billion to education funding over the next decade, was the brainchild of Gov. Doug Ducey, who pushed to tap the principle of the state land trust to provide the majority of the funding. While Ducey brought along the education establishment and the business community—and spent more than $4 million promoting it in recent months—critics complained that the plan shortchanged schools, set unacceptable caps on education funding and set a bad precedent of draining the principle of the land trust. (You can read the details here.)

Here's what Ducey and Co. should worry about: Opposition to the campaign was growing in the final weeks and most of the ballots that remain uncounted are the vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped off on Election Day. If the No trend persists, Prop 123 could fail—which would be a shocking upset, given the wide public support and money behind it.

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