MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: And opposed to 302, we have Nadine Mathis-Basha, Chairwoman of Save First Things First on 302.
MS. MATHIS-BASHA: They say we get the representation we deserve. I don't think that that's true in Arizona . Here in this state that we all love, there is an enormous gulf between the priorities of our voters and state legislature. Arizona voters have spoken clearly over the past four years even as the state has faced economic hardship.
We place protecting education and healthcare at top of our priorities. That's why voters approved First Things First in 2006. We wanted to help kids by using tobacco taxes to build a comprehensive early childhood development and health system, a system that has already helped over three hundred and thirty thousand Arizona children.
This system has meant better educated teachers in the classroom, better childcare, emergency services for families in need. 90 percent of these funds go directly to these programs for children.
By law, First Things First has helped Arizona children begin school ready to succeed and healthy. Voters reaffirm their support for children in May, when Proposition 100 won by a landslide. Again, the message was clear. Project education and health care, and give every child a fair start in life.
Unfortunately, the Arizona Legislature doesn't see it that way. The Legislature put Prop 302 on the ballot for one reason. They covet the revenues voters created specifically to fund First Things First. The same body responsible for spending the state into the red, now wants to spend this money too.
Not only do they want to do whatever – take whatever revenue First Things First has set aside for kids, they want to take the revenue stream, the tobacco tax dollars and put it into the General Fund.
The Legislature thinks it knows better than we the voters, that their priorities should take precedence over ours. Don't let that happen. Don't let Arizona 's children who have no voice at the polls, suffer at the hands of the legislature with wrong priorities.
Please join me and thousands of our fellow Arizonans on November 2. Please vote no on 302. Thank you.
MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Thank you very much.