The Legislature is co-equal with the executive and judicial branches of government. It should act as such. Under the state constitution, absent an initiative requiring an expenditure or tax, the Legislature alone has the authority to write a budget or levy a tax.
The Supreme Court, which has no tax or budget authority, is well on its way to usurping that power where education funding is concerned. The Legislature must assert itself and act against that usurpation and the court’s current course of judicial supremacy. The matter of education funding was properly brought before the court. Court decisions have the force of law. The court’s self-restraint usually prevents it from becoming the dominant government power. The current court lacks that restraint.
The Legislature and the governor must resist the court’s myopic view of budgetary reality and assert their positions under the doctrine of the separation of powers. HB 2761, HB 2776 and similar laws that underpin the court’s decisions on education funding should be amended and replaced. A constitutional amendment that removes the word “paramount” from Article IX Section 1 should be placed on the ballot.
Funding education is a duty but not a paramount one that must be done regardless of the harm that causes. If the court will not voluntarily embrace restraint it must be forced upon them.