As expected the governor wants money for Child Protective Service workers and school resource officers. There also are funds for the state's three universities, though some is conditional on meeting certain goals.
Governor Jan Brewer penned her approval Monday to a nearly 8-point-6 billion dollar spending plan for the coming year, although it wasn't quite what she wanted.
Brewer pronounced herself very pleased with the plan.
"You know," she said, "we've got a carry forward. We've got a balanced budget. We put money into the rainy day fund. I got more dollars for education, protected the chronically mentally ill with the Arnold v. Sarn. DPS which was another priority of mine. You know, I'm just really happy with what we were able to complete and give to the public."
State lawmakers voted this afternoon on a nearly 8-point-6 billion spending plan that Democrats contend ignores critical state needs.
Both sides agree that state revenues are on the increase. But Republicans want to bank $450 million of that against anticipated future deficits while the Democrats say there are more immediate needs. Sen. Steve Gallardo said one of those is a proposal to fund adult education programs.
A legal fight is brewing over one way state lawmakers intend to balance the budget.
The plan hammered out between the governor and Republican legislative leaders adds funding for education and a new state prison. It even puts $450 million into a special rainy day fund against future deficits. To do that, lawmakers will take more than half of the nearly $98 million the state got earlier this year as part of its share of a nationwide settlement with lenders over charges of mortgage fraud. Senate President Steve Pierce said the shift is justified.
Republican State Senator Don Shooter, who chairs the Appropriations Committee said Tuesday's meeting was to hear not from the public but from the directors of the departments of health and economic security about how they operate and their funding needs for the coming year.
Sen. David Lujan, a Democrat, objected, "We're not providing the public an opportunity to testify today on such an important part of what we do down here."
Governor Jan Brewer is proposing a nearly $9 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year that provides more money for schools, hires former police officers to investigate allegations of child abuse and sets up a needs-based scholarship for community colleges. The plan also provides a little more money for the state's university system. But Brewer wants to revamp how the cash is divided up, a move that John Arnold, the governor's budget chief, said is likely to reduce the allocation for the University of Arizona.