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Arizona judge hears $2.9 billion back funding case

PHOENIX -- Attorneys representing Arizona have argued that a judge does not have the authority to force the state to pay out $2.9 billion to schools.

Attorneys argued before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper for two hours on Friday.

The case stems from a September ruling by the state Supreme Court that found the Arizona Legislature had failed to abide by a voter-approved proposition requiring annual inflation adjustments to school funding. Proposition 301 passed in 2000.

Attorneys representing schools say Cooper has the authority to impose those fees on the state. They say the Legislature broke the law by not adjusting school funding according to inflation.

The judge will now review arguments from both sides before making a decision.

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