FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Senate Republicans Lead the Way to Approve $15.8 Billion Bipartisan Budget with Historic Investments in Water, Education, Border Security and More
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— After months of negotiations between the Senate, the House and the Governor's Office, we are pleased to announce we've created and approved a historic, bipartisan, balanced state budget for FY 2023. With huge investments on items that have a major impact in our communities, such as K-12 schools and higher education, border security, law enforcement, election integrity, roads, infrastructure, mental health and homelessness, our spending plan of $15.8 billion will go a long way in further strengthening our state's economy, while continuing to reinforce Arizona's positioning as one of the best places in the nation to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family.
"Thanks to the Democrat-controlled federal government turning our country upside down with reckless spending that has led to the highest inflation rate in four decades and pushing dangerous policies that have driven gas prices to never-before-seen territory, the leadership and commonsense solutions from our Arizona state lawmakers will help families and business owners weather this storm," said Senate President Karen Fann (R-1).
Due to a stronger than expected rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona has a surplus of $5.3 billion that we are using to secure Arizona's water future, pay down debt and return money to the hard-working men and women of our state through tax cuts, all while saving for the future, as the possibility of a recession becomes more likely by the day.
"We're focusing on what's important to all Arizonans. Students will soon feel a sense of security in their classrooms with investments in campus security, while additional funding will also provide resources for teacher raises, upgrades to buildings and learning materials," said President Fann. "The deadly drugs and human smuggling coming into our state from our open borders will not be ignored. We will be ramping up our law enforcement with the tools they need to fight this crisis driven by President Biden's lack of care or concern. At the end of the day, our taxpayers can rest assured that our state will be set up for success in the years to come, thanks to their Arizona Senate Republicans who worked tirelessly day and night to reach a compromise with our Senators across the aisle, while still fighting for family values, financial stability, the rule of law, and opportunity for all. We are thankful to our Senate Minority Leadership team, most notably Senators Rebecca Rios and Lupe Contreras for uniting with us towards a common goal of getting this impactful budget through the legislature."
The FY 2023 budget includes the following investments:
· Water: More than $1 billion over the next three years for water augmentation projects, grants, needs assessments and conservation.
· K-12 Schools: $1.4 billion in new funding from FY 2023 to FY 2025 for increasing base level student spending, special education support, textbooks, computers, other equipment for school districts and charter schools, resource officers, school repairs, school improvement programming and more.
· Border Security: $564 million for fencing, technology, an emergency operations center, law enforcement, national guard, prosecutions, human trafficking programs and more.
· Law Enforcement: $307 million in new operational investments for the Department of Public Safety, as well as Department of Corrections, including 20% raises for correctional officers and staff, 15% raises for state troopers and staff, new vehicles, helicopters, civil patrol infrastructure and equipment.
· Transportation: More than $1 billion in state highway projects, including $400 million for the expansion of I-10 between Chandler and Casa Grande.
· Tax Cuts: $336 million in ongoing tax cuts, including eliminating the state equalization tax rate, which homeowners will benefit from. This will not impact K-12 funding.
· Debt Payoffs: $1.3 billion used to pay down unfunded liability in state public safety retirement plans, state building debt, and K-12 rollover for school districts, which combined, will save the state more than $100 million per year in ongoing expenses.
· Election Security: $18.5 million over the next three years. Funds will go to secure ballot paper for counties, ballot box pilot programs, and additional staff to clean up voter rolls.
· Homelessness: $75 million for housing and homeless related services.
· Healthcare: $398 million in new health welfare investments, including long-term provider raises, expansion of nursing programs at community colleges and universities to address the nursing shortage and construction of secure behavioral health residential facilities to treat those with serious mental illnesses.
To see an entire breakdown of the FY 2023 State of Arizona budget bills, go to azleg.gov.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus