State Budget Finalized, but with a Few Conditions
Gov. Jan Brewer inked her approval this afternoon to a new $9.2 billion spending plan — but not before using her constitutional power to excise it of some items she doesn’t like. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.
The governor said some of the proposals appear to have no clear purpose, like $10,000 for a landing strip in northern Arizona. And, she saw no reason to spend $500,000 for an “alternative teacher development program.” Brewer also rejected a half-million dollar appropriation for what was pegged for northern Arizona law enforcement. Attorney General Tom Horne said that was money earmarked so the Mohave County sheriff could keep someone full-time in the polygamous community of Colorado City to make sure that women could escape if they want.
“And, in fact, there are women who did escape who said they couldn’t have but for the sheriff being there. And it would be a tragedy to put it back in the hands of the marshals who are under the thumbs of the dominant church,” Horne said.
In signing the budget, Brewer also told lawmakers they should expect to be called back to the Capitol next month — assuming they are done with the regular session — specifically to deal with her demand that they create and properly fund a new state child-welfare agency. Lawmakers did provide her with about $59 million of the $80 million she sought, but deferred further action until completion of a special study on the issue.