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Arizona House OKs school spending cap waiver; Senate delays

Appeals court judge
AP Photo/Matt York
Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Paul J. McMurdie listens to oral arguments, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Phoenix. The Arizona Supreme Court heard an expedited constitutional challenge to a new voter-approved tax on high-earning Arizonans designed to boost school funding on Tuesday. McMurdie was sitting in on the case due to a vacancy on the court.

The Arizona House has voted to avert a shutdown of the state’s K-12 public school system by approving a waiver of a constitutional cap on spending.

But the Senate president says she does not yet have the votes. Tuesday's 45-14 House vote gives schools the ability to spend $1.54 billion lawmakers appropriated last year that would have put them over the constitutional spending limit.

All 28 Democrats present voted yes, but 14 of 31 Republican House members voted no.

Republican Senate President Karen Fann says she doesn't have the needed 20 votes in her chamber because some GOP senators want something in return.

Some want universal school vouchers. Schools could close if the Senate doesn't approve the waiver by March 1.