Arizona Taxpayers Pay the Price for New, Restrictive Laws

Friday, May 17, 2013

Being the frontrunners for new and controversial laws has proven costly for the state of Arizona, as it has had to fight off numerous legal challenges in court.


Laws pertaining to illegal immigrants, abortions and education have resulted in the state, and others favoring the laws spending millions of dollars on lawyers and other legal help to defend these statutes.


The state paid more than $5 million to defend education requirements for students who are not proficient in English, according to The Arizona Republic.


In the case of SB 1070, the controversial anti-illegal immigration law, more than $3.2 million has gone towards defending it. This money was raised by Governor Jan Brewer through private contributions to her Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund.


Meanwhile, the state has spent more than $300,000 defending a voter-approved law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and about $176,000 defending the state’s Clean Elections public-funding program for candidates.


Some of these costs seem unavoidable.  Given Arizona’s position as a border state, it is not surprising that the state has to deal with immigration issues earlier than other states.


Other costly lawsuits, according to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, are a result of the Obama administration’s agenda against Arizona,.


ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler disagrees, saying that the state legislature is to blame, not the federal government.


“We live in a state where our leaders have been ignoring the Constitution in favor of playing politics,” Soler told the Arizona Republic. “On too many occasions, this Legislature and Governor Brewer have approved bills that were clearly going to be struck down by the courts, and the taxpayers end up paying the price every time.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Aaron Wallechinsky


To Learn More:

Controversial Arizona Laws Rack up big Legal Fees (by Alia Beard Rau, Arizona Republic)

New Arizona Law Makes Cities Re-Sell Guns Collected in Buy-Back Programs (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Arizona and Nebraska Governors Deny Driver Licenses to Young Immigrants with Work Permits(by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Court Blocks Arizona Late-Term Abortion Law (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Utah and Arizona Pass Bills to Seize Federal Land; Sioux Indians Demand the Same (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Supreme Court Corporate Majority Blocks Arizona Public Campaign Finance Law (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Ken Broder, AllGov)


yarply 3 years ago
Do a story on NY and Colorado on their restrictive laws and harp about them.
b 3 years ago
I have to agree with the ACLU - the states, for the most part, have been violating the US Constitution for years and years. Arizona is just one such state that has repeatedly violated the Constitution - they are a repeat offender.

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