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Hearing set on suit over First Things First referendum analysis

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge in Phoenix has scheduled an initial hearing Monday in a lawsuit challenging the official description of a measure on state’s November ballot.

The Legislature placed the measure eliminating the state’s First Things First program on the ballot. If approved, the program’s tobacco-tax money would be transferred to the general fund.

The lawsuit filed by the Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board contends that an analysis approved by a joint House-Senate committee is slanted against the program.

The board runs the program launched by voter approval of a 2006 initiative to provide services for young children. The Legislature last spring voted to repeal the program and use its tobacco-tax funding to help balance the state budget.

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