Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, June 23, 2011

AHCCCS cuts -- the state legislature responds

Yesterday, pursuant to ARS § 12-1841 attorneys for Senate President Pearce and House Speaker Tobin filed a response to Tim Hogan's petition for special action regarding pending cuts to AHCCCS, Arizona's Medicaid program for low income citizens.

The statute essentially says that if any state law is alleged to be unconstitutional, the Senate Pres. and the House Speaker have a right to be heard in court on the matter.

In this case, Pearce and Tobin argue that the court should not accept special action jurisdiction.  They argue that Prop. 204 does not appropriate general fund monies or provide any open-ended appropriation to provide medical care to the target population.  Acknowledging the legislative power of the voters in the initiative process, they also argue that no legislative act can bind a future legislature.

So, the plot thickens.  Given the petitioners' request for an injunction to prevent the cuts from taking place on July 1, it seems reasonable to expect to hear some kind of response from the Arizona Supreme Court within the next week.

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