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Monday deadline to register to vote in May school funding election

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Monday deadline to register to vote in May school funding election

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It might seem like we just had an election, but it's time for another: the deadline to register to vote in the May 17 election on the controversial Proposition 123 school-funding shift is Monday. A pension proposition will also be on the ballot.

Unlike the March presidential preference election, the May special election will be open to all registered voters in Arizona.

New voters, as well as those who have changed addresses or wish to change party registrations, can sign up at The deadline is midnight Monday, April 18.

Proposition 123, the Arizona Education Finance Amendment, would pull $3.5 billion from the general fund and the state land trust endowment to increase state support for schools over 10 years. It would eliminate an earlier boost to education funding approved by voters but that went unfunded by the Legislature. Despite the courts finding that lawmakers improperly withheld those funds, about $1.2 billion has gone unpaid to schools.

If passed, the measure would end a lawsuit over the unpaid funds, and place a hard cap on the percentage of the state's budget that could go to education. The proposition is supported by many state legislators and Gov. Doug Ducey, and several of the education groups that pressed the lawsuit over the unfunded Proposition 301. It is opposed by other education groups, state Treasurer Jeff DeWit, and the Pima County Democratic Party.

Also on the ballot is the Public Retirement Benefits Amendment, Proposition 124. The measure, touted as a way to stabilize the state's pension fund for police and firefighters, would replace the current permanent benefit increase structure with a compounded annual cost of living adjustment. The proposition is supported by police and fire groups, the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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