Chandler, AZ – Steve Weichert, Democratic Party Candidate for State Senate in Legislative District 17, released the following statement:
I’m profoundly disappointed that the Invest in Ed ballot initiative was struck down Wednesday by Governor Doug Ducey’s stacked Supreme Court. And I’m saddened that the loudest cheerleader for striking down the initiative was my opponent for State Senate in LD-17: career politician and anti-public education crusader, JD Mesnard.
The petition for Invest in Ed was signed by over 270,000 Arizonans – nearly double the number necessary to appear on November’s ballot. This overwhelming support was a clear indicator that citizens no longer trust our current leaders to act in the best interests of our 1.1 million public school students.
The Invest in Ed initiative sought to raise more than $690 million for public education funding through a small increase in state income tax on the highest earners in our state.
If Invest in Ed had passed, an Arizona family earning half a million dollars a year – nearly 10 times the median household income in our state – would pay an additional $1,775 in state tax. Every penny would be used to bring our public education system into the 21st century.
But Mesnard and his big-money backers fought this tooth and nail, using scare tactics and fuzzy math. He forecasted doom and gloom, predicting a mass exodus of wealthy Arizonans and businesses to other states.
In fact, the opposite is true. A good public education system – adequately funded, and led by professional, fairly paid, highly motivated teachers – will attract new businesses to Arizona and set our children up for the future they deserve.
Mesnard calls himself an ‘educator’, which is why I’m puzzled why he would take every opportunity to hurt Arizona’s public school students in favor of big business. The only reason I can think of is that he’s beholden to deep-pocketed special interests, and has decided to put their bottom lines above of our kids’ future.
He and his millionaire backers knew they’d lose this fight when voters go to the polls on November 6, so they turned to Doug Ducey’s Supreme Court. Now that Invest in Ed is off the ballot, it’s even more vital that voters support pro-public education candidates like myself. Only then can we finally do what’s right for our students, parents, and our hard-working teachers.
Quite simply, JD has to go.
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