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Ducey ‘confident’ about special session

The governor today expressed optimism that he and legislative leadership would agree on the parameters of a special session, though he was tight-lipped about exactly what he expected to be part of the special session call and what has been holding up the negotiations.

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So, did he write it during lunch break?

It seems that the email from former Senate President Russell Pearce on education funding and policy was not an isolated occurrence, and the conservative firebrand has been using his Maricopa County government email address regularly to advocate for policy changes.

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Pearce uses county email to lobby against K-12 funding

Former Senate President Russell Pearce is lobbying lawmakers to deny additional education funding, and is doing so from his post as manager of the technical services division at the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office. Using his official county account, Pearce yesterday sent an email at 5:17 pm to lawmakers with the subject line “education opportunities,” warning them that they don’t have enough money to satisfy the “educrats” and urging them to demand that any new education funding proposal include accountability measures.

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Livingston: Not without strings attached

Livingston today told our reporter that he concurs with Finchem’s complaints yesterday that the education funding plans proposed thus far are missing accountability measures to ensure the money will actually improve the state’s education system and make sure the additional money doesn’t just go into a black hole. “I think [Finchem] is correct that just throwing more money into education doesn’t fix anything. What good does that do? We need results, we need better results,” he said.

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It’s not all about the Benjamins, baby

Finchem told our reporter today that the school funding proposals – and the entire current debate over education funding – attacks the problem backwards. None of the education plans proposed include any specific goals, such as attracting and retaining new teachers, increasing student test scores or graduation rates, and they don’t include metrics for gauging whether adding additional dollars into the K-12 system will have a positive effect.

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If the president asks, is it wise to say no?

A Senate source said Biggs, who is asking for an audit of First Things First, will likely tap the auditor general for the job. Technically, Biggs does not have the power to direct the auditor general to conduct the audit, but he can make such as a request to Burges, who chairs the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which has some purview over the auditor general.

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