The state of Arizona spent $442,000 in legal fees in May and June defending its SB 1070 lawsuit from a series of lawsuits, according to documents released Thursday by Gov. Jan Brewer’s office. So far, though, taxpayer funds have not been used for legal fees, as the state has drawn on the $3.6 million in donations Brewer has received to defend the law.
Beyond legal fees, the law has had a high cost for the state: some Arizona industries reported a decline in business since the bill was passed, and the state awarded a $1 million contract to a public relations firm last week to repair its reputation for tourism.
The legal battles are far from over, and the current spending does not account for legal counsel in July, when much of the SB 1070 court action took place. The state is expecting more costs to come, Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman told the Arizona Daily Star:
“There have been over 900 legal filings containing over 12,160 pages of legal briefings, and new filings are received every day,” he said. And aside from the individuals who have sued to overturn all or part of the law, Senseman said 63 others have filed “friend of the court” briefs that need to be reviewed and, in some cases, responded to. [...]
“The governor’s legal team has had to work overtime in a compressed time period as result of the expedited nature of the injunction proceedings,” Senseman said. “The fees incurred have been, and will continue to be, sizable as the governor’s counsel responds to the massive number of filings in these lawsuits and prepares her filings before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
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