May 17 could be a critical turning point on the future of K-12 education in Arizona. On that day, voters will be given the opportunity to support an education financing package that would put $3.5 billion into Arizona schools over the next ten years, without raising taxes. It is truly a win-win proposal. The Prescott Chamber is proud to partner with other chambers, business groups, the Governor and several others that crafted this funding program. The increased funding will come from an increased payout from the State Land Trust which historically provides an annual payout of 2.5% of the permanent funds in the Trust. The new payout amount would increase to 6.9% for ten years. The Prescott Unified School District would receive more than $700,000 annually if this proposition is passed. PUSD would have control of the funds and how they would be used. Proposition 123 would also settle an ongoing lawsuit between public schools and the state legislature regarding K-12 funding. It’s been said before—today’s students are tomorrow’s employees and business owners. Investing in the future is a good thing and Prop. 123 deserves your support.
One of the shortest legislative sessions in recent memory produced some good results for the business community. Before discussing some of the specifics, let me remind you of how the chambers around the state work together on state legislative matters.
Our work starts each summer at our Chambers’ annual conference where a tentative platform of issues is developed. Chambers then take the platform to their respective boards for approval. Approximately forty chambers in Arizona signed their name to the 2015 Legislative Agenda for Arizona Business. That document was then delivered to each legislator at the beginning of the session.