PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Supreme Court on Friday approved of collecting surcharges on criminal and traffic fines to help fund political campaigns, rejecting an argument that the system violates free-speech rights.
Ruling unanimously, the state high court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of public money for campaign financing, and it found that the Arizona system doesn't promote any particular message.
The opionion, written by Justice Rebecca White Berch, also pointed out that state taxes already pay legislators' salaries, regardless of whether an individual taxpayer agrees with every lawmaker.
The 10 percent surcharge on court-issued fines provides about 60 percent of the funding for the state's public financing of state election campaigns. Other funding sources include taxpayer contributions.