PHOENIX (CN) – Phoenix residents say the Legislature’s repeal of an amendment to deposit lottery money into the Local Transportation Assistance Fund violates the Clean Air Act. The state enacted an air quality bill in 1993 requiring 31.5 percent of the lottery revenue to go to the transportation fund. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill in March repealing that.
Kelly Paisley and Sandra Bahr say they are “adversely affected by being forced to breathe air that is less pure” because the Legislature violated an emission standard on transportation control. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers Phoenix a “serious nonattainment” area, which fails to meet federal health and welfare standards for carbon monoxide, ozone and particulates.
According to the federal complaint, the Legislature passed an omnibus air quality bill in 1993 “to provide not only for the payment of expenses of the commission and repayment of any advances made from the general fund, but also to require payment of not less than 31.5 percent of the revenues received” – up to $18 million – to the Local Transportation Assistance Fund.
The bill stated that 75 percent of any “excess” money, up to $23 million, should go to the transportation fund, for a maximum of $41 million a year from the lottery.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed Arizona House Bill 2010 on March 18, repealing the requirement that lottery money go to the transportation assistance.
Paisley and Bahr are represented by Joy E. Herr-Cardillo and Timothy M. Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest.