Recall that last month, I mentioned this would be coming down the pike.
Here's part of what AIRC staff wrote, it's four page memo to the five commissioners about the subject this time.
Without an additional legislative appropriation, the Commission is in jeopardy as to compliance with the Arizona State Constitution which requires the Commission to defend the adopted maps.
The Arizona State Constitution requires the Legislature to provide adequate funding for the Commission, and clearly this is not the current situation. Also, it is not possible for the Commission to completely comply with A.R.S. § 35-131 D requiring a plan to stay within the current appropriation. Only the Arizona State Legislature can act in a way that would provide compliance with the Arizona Constitution and Arizona Revised Statutes.
Possible Commission Alternatives
1) Notify Commission attorneys to stop work. This jeopardizes the Commission’s ability to comply with the Arizona State Constitution’s requirement for it to defend the maps. Currently, this is the action that has been taken. This “Lock Down” approach will only be successful for a few months, and if no new demands are made on legal counsel.
2) Request authority of the courts’ to suspend action on the two active cases, Leach v. AIRC, and Arizona State Legislature v. AIRC. The Harris v. AIRC case is awaiting a court decision.
3) File a special action with the Arizona Supreme Court, seeking a constitutional appropriation, since the Legislature has not provided adequate funding.
4) File some other legal action(s) to seek a court solution to the appropriation problem.
5) Request an immediate supplemental appropriation which would require a special session of the Legislature to be called by the Governor. This approach has been discussed with Legislative leadership and the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, and does not appear possible.
6) Implement a combination of the above alternatives.
A Commission meeting to discuss possible alternatives and receive legal advice on the alternatives is needed. The Commission needs to provide direction to the Commission’s staff and attorneys.You can find a spreadsheet with current budget figures by line item here.
Summaries of the three lawsuits are included on pages 9 and 10 of one the exhibit sent to commissioners on Friday. The first eight pages of that document did not translate well to Google Drive, but the summaries on pages 9 and 10 are readable.
I understand a notice of meeting will be issued sometime today for a commission meeting to be held on Thursday. I'll let you know.