From AZCentral.com -
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday that Gov. Jan Brewer and state officials violated the state Constitution earlier this year when they took money from an early childhood-education fund to help balance the state budget.
That fund, known as First Things First, was created by state voters in 2006 with their passage of a ballot proposal that increased tobacco taxes to fund a variety of education and health programs for children.
In January, the governor and the Republicans in the lege took one look at the state's deepening deficit and immediately thought of Arizona's children -
Thought of them while looking for a source of revenue to tap.
In addition to protecting AZ's kids from some of the schemes of the lege and governor, today's ruling also buttresses the Voter Protection Act.
Look for further attempts by the Republicans in the lege to weaken it, both in the ongoing (but not actually going anywhere) special session, and next year's regular session, starting in January.
During the legislative session, the fun part, in a very sarcastic sense, was watching wingers like Russell Pearce and John Kavanagh (the chairs of the Appropriations committees in the Senate and House, respectively) pontificate gravely on the need for cuts in all parts of state government (including children's health and education) due to the state's shrinking revenues, yet constantly pimp huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
Today's decision was a small step in the right direction for the state; next year's elections and the change they can bring could be a huge step.
Greg Patterson at Espresso Pundit has a copy of the Court's decision here.
David Safier at Blog for Arizona has his take on the ruling here.