Controversial Arizona laws targeting illegal immigrants, abortions and school choice have been costly for taxpayers, reports the Arizona Republic. Lawsuits over the measures have cost millions of dollars in legal fees and and thousands of hours of state employee time, diverting them from other work. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne blames the Obama administration for targeting Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer's office says such lawsuits are sometimes the cost of doing the right thing. And the ACLU of Arizona blames a Legislature and governor too willing to ignore the U.S. Constitution.
The paper estimated that Arizona has spent more than $300,000 defending a voter-approved law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and nearly $176,000 defending the state's Clean Elections public-funding program for candidates. The state paid more than $5 million to defend education requirements for students who are not proficient in English, according to the private attorneys' billing data.