Hobbs Veto of Budget Means State Agencies Will Soon Run Out of Money
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 24, 2023
Hobbs Veto of Budget, Which Included Supplemental Funding,
Means State Agencies Will Soon Run Out of Money
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Republican lawmakers are diligently working on a bipartisan budget in an effort to continue essential services for all Arizonans, but Democrats in the Legislature are dragging their feet.
Back on February 1, Senate Republicans passed a budget proposal that would have provided certainty to our citizens and state agencies. The budget maintained current funding levels and operations in state government to assure schools would remain open, health services would continue, roads would be maintained, public safety would be funded, and so forth. Every Democrat voted against the proposal. Subsequently, on February 16, the Governor called it a "do nothing budget" and vetoed the plan. The fact of the matter is the budget did a lot. Included in this budget was not only funding for the next fiscal year, but supplemental funding for several state agencies. Consequently, those agencies will soon run out of money prior to the next fiscal year.
"A reasonable governor would have signed the budget and negotiated how to spend the surplus funds separately," said Senate President Warren Petersen. "A wise governor would have, at a minimum, line itemed everything except for the current year supplemental funding, ensuring that the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona's K-12 public schools, and the Arizona State Hospital system had enough money to make it through the next few months. Chalk it up to inexperience. Her senseless veto means all are at risk."
Despite Hobbs' error, Republicans immediately began to build a new budget. On March 2, the Senate Appropriations Chairman emailed all members of the Senate, requesting a list of their priorities for consideration in a new budget proposal. Room was included for reasonable requests from both Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans provided their priorities within a matter of days. Their reasonable, non-partisan priorities have been included in the budget. The Democrats provided no response until March 16, when the Minority Leader stated her Caucus would not provide their feedback for a month. Despite the lack of cooperation and leadership from the Democrat Caucus, President Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma met with the Governor on March 20 to agree on ground rules to accomplish a second bipartisan budget proposal. Since then, frequent meetings have taken place with the Governor's office to come up with a consensus on how to best appropriate funds. The Governor's priorities are being negotiated, as are the Republicans' priorities. Unfortunately, the Democrats have still not provided their requests.
"We are just weeks away from some government agencies running out of funding because legislative Democrats are stalling," said President Petersen. "I’m confident we would have already passed a budget had the Democrats spent the last seven weeks negotiating the budget with us, in good faith."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus