Center for Arizona Policy's Theory on Prop. 204: It Creates a $100 Million Abortion Fund

Policy analysis from Narnia.
Proposition 204, also known as the "Quality Education and Jobs Act," is a sales-tax measure that would keep the tax at the same level as the temporary increase voters approved in 2010.

A common criticism is that the ballot language doesn't describe exactly where the expected $1 billion in revenue goes, but the right-wing lobbying organization Center for Arizona Policy thinks it has things figured out -- it creates a $100 million "slush fund" that probably could all be used to fund abortions.

This theory CAP has cooked up is more like a conspiracy theory, since abortion is mentioned precisely zero times in the measure's language.

Here's part of the explanation from CAP:

Center for Arizona Policy and Arizona Right to Life announced opposition to Proposition 204 today due to vague and ill-defined language contained in the proposition that could allow up to $100 million of taxpayer dollars to be given to abortion providers annually.

While the proposition has been billed as an education measure, it creates a $100 million slush fund that a governor could allocate for "family stability" and "basic needs" that "lead to family stability". These terms are not clearly defined in the proposition, leaving the door open for chief executives to use this section to funnel monies to abortion providers.

An estimated $100 million taken in by this tax would be allocated to a "family stability and self-sufficiency fund," which would be used to "provide services for the basic needs of children, families, and vulnerable adults whose household income is less than two hundred percent of the federal poverty level."

According to CAP, "basic needs" could be one giant abortion fund, but the ballot language makes no such statement.


To see an even less-specific complaint about the proposition, here's CAP president Cathi Herrod:

A sampling of pros and cons on Prop. 204 that have a foundation in reality can be found here.

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Prop 204 losing is great. It paves the way for abolishing child labor laws and opens the door for child pornography. This way AZ kids can work to get their own education and the AZ taxpayers can save money by not having to take responsibility for educating their children. Sure Canadian teachers make $150,000 per year and are #3 in the world and Finland pays their teachers what Doctors and Lawyers make and they are #1 in the world. Our American children are at least 27th in the world in all subjects and dropping faster every year. This is also great because soon we can get all those jobs back from China and have our illiterate children work for a dried fish and a bowl of rice a day. Now that will be a great day when the USA can compete again on the global stage. Good work AZ voters!!!

jonnyquest topcommenter

If the legislature wasn't so busy diverting public education funds to for profit charter schools, we wouldn't need this proposition. CAP is shilling for legislators who will deliver the goods to their patrons. Capitalism is good. Crony capitalism is just legal corruption.


I agree...but from the opposite direction.  I'm concerned that this creates a fund that the governor can use to fund religious activities...oh, I mean "faith based social services."  You know, the kind of services that are directed only to people of a specific faith.  That could be grants for child care facilities at certain churches or it could be pregenancy "crisis counseling" which are thinly disguised anti-abortion groups run by religious groups.


Form a purely policy wonk standpoint, however, I think that referendum based budget allocation is a really bad idea because it ties the state's hands and prevents the state from establishing future budgets based on the state's needs in the future.  Don't get me wrong, I think that our current legislators who are in charge of developing and passing a budget are generally imbeciles. But the solution is to vote the imbeciles out of office, not establish mandatory budget expenditures by referendum in a way that can't be revised in the future to respond to future needs and opportunities.

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