State Capitol News
4:16 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Gov. Brewer Releases a Slimmed-Down Budget

Gov. Jan Brewer unveiled her spending plan this afternoon that has more money for what will replace Child Protective Services, but scant new funds for education. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer has details.

Gov. Jan Brewer
Credit azcentral.com

Gov. Brewer wants to give more money to schools whose students show improvement. And, she’s also adjusting state aid for inflation as ordered by the Supreme Court by about $70 million. But, then she wants to take $15 million of that back to fund Internet service improvements. Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University are getting an adjustment in per-student funding to bring them up to the University of Arizona. But, that’s pretty much it. John Arnold, the governor’s budget director, said that’s the best that can be done in the circumstances.

“We’re asking for a little more patience from our higher-ed community and our K-12 communities — all of our communities, really — until we continue to stabilize. We’re not even back to 2007 revenue levels yet,” Arnold says.

Arnold also insisted that tax breaks approved in prior years — including another $129 million that kick in this coming year — were not a mistake.

“We’ve created 170,000-plus new jobs in the state and brought a whole slew of economic development here that I don’t know would have happened. And that goes on into the future,” he says.

Arnold said the cuts were necessary because the state’s corporate tax rate was not competitive.