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Constitutional amendment controversy recap


AMENDMENT ALLOWING FOR A PROPERTY TAX SURCHARGE DEDICATED TO SCHOOL FUNDING. KHON2 PARTNERED WITH COMMON CAUSE HAWAII TODAY, TO HEAR ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH SIDES..MODERATED BY OUR OWN GINA MANGIERI. SHE JOINS US NOW WITH A BREAKDOWN OF TODAY’S FORUM. GINA? GINA: JOE..THE QUESTION ON THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT WILL ASK…”SHALL THE LEGISLATURE BE AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH, AS PROVIDED BY LAW, A SURCHARGE ON INVESTMENT REAL PROPERTY TO BE USED TO SUPPORT PUBLIC EDUCATION?” TAKING PART IN TODAY’S FORUM — A PANEL OF COMMUNITY LEADERS REPRESENTING MANY SIDES OF THE ISSUES.. H-S-T-A TEACHERS UNION PRESIDENT COREY ROSENLEE AND DEBORAH ZYSMAN FROM THE HAWAII CHILDREN’S NETWORK , IN SUPPORT. COLBERT MATSUMOTO, REPRESENTING THE AFFORDABLE HAWAII COALTION, AND RANDY ROTH, OPPOSING THE AMENDMENT. WE ASKED ABOUT A DOZEN QUESTIONS. ONE OF THEM — “IF THIS MEASURE DOES PASS, HOW CAN IT BE ASSURED THAT THE MONEY RAISED WOULD BE ADDED TO THE EXISTING STATE BUDGET AMOUNT FOR EDUCATION, AND NOT JUST CONSIDERED A SUBSTITUTE SOURCE TO PAY TOWARD THE CURRENT GENERAL FUND AMOUNT SCHOOLS GET?” RANDY ROTH, RICHARDSON SCHOOL OF LAW PROFESSOR EMERITUS: that’s a problem for people who would like this to be passed and would like the new tax to go to public education. there’s absolutely nothing to prevent the legislation from reducing dollar for dollar what it would otherwise give to public education from the general fund by whatever amount of revenue the new tax might generate. and why wouldnt they do that. what happens on this ballot question isnt gonna change their priorities . and if they think that their priorities are such that they’re giving education right now.. $3 billion a year..15th highest per pupil in the nation. if they think that’s enough why would they all of a sudden change their priorities? i’m pretty sure what would happen is they would leave public education approximately the level it is now simply using more special funds but less general funds to accomplish it DEBORAH ZYSMAN, HAWAII CHILDREN’S NETWORK EXEC DIR: i have learned life has no guarantees but my organization has been in there lobbying and rallying to ensure that the enabling legislation does go to education. does fund priorities within the doe to make sure our kids have the education they deserve. we know for example the charter schools have been asking for additional resources for years now to make sure that our children tarp and using a porta potty. we have been asking for much deeper increase investment in our public preschool program. and for example, last year we were able preschool classrooms. five. that’s it. so again i think we would be in there saying this is where the money needs to be going for. it needs to be invested early. it needs to be invested in our infrastructure and how to invest it best in our children GINA: IF YOU MISSED THE FORUM OR WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT AGAIN, IT’S POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE KHON2 DOT COM. GINA: HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS ON THE AMENDMENT ON THURSDAY THAT COULD DECIDE ITS FATE BEFORE ALL VOTES ARE CAST…ALL FOUR COUNTIES ASKED THE HIGH COURT TO INVALIDATE THE QUESTION BECAUSE THEY SAY ITS WORDING ON THE BALLOT IS TOO VAGUE. WE’LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. JOE. JOE:

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