PHOENIX— Less than two hours after hearing arguments, the Arizona Supreme Court today unanimously affirmed a ruling that Governor Doug Ducey's harmful ban on school mask requirements to protect against COVID-19, as well as controversial voter suppression legislation, were unconstitutionally tethered to the Republican state budget passed this summer. The Arizona School Boards Association – with an assist by an amicus brief from House and Senate Democratic leaders – argued that the budget violated the Constitution's title and single subject rules. In an effort to secure only Republican votes for their budget, leaders "logrolled" several controversial policy items into unrelated budget bills.
House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding called the ruling "a huge win for Arizona students and voters."
"This is also a win for the legislative process," Bolding said. "It was never appropriate for the Speaker and Senate President to load up the budget with un-related and controversial policy items to mollify certain extreme members and avoid negotiating a bi-partisan budget. The bottom line is Arizona public school students, teachers and staff will be better protected from COVID-19 because school boards can take necessary measures to protect them without politicized anti-science interference from the Governor and Republican lawmakers. A unanimous ruling from a Ducey-appointed Supreme Court is as strong a rebuke as we can imagine."
And read the joint House and Senate Democratic Caucus amicus brief here.