by Jim Nintzel
Gov. Jan Brewer, House Speaker Andy Tobin and Senate President Steve Peirce say they've reached a budget deal at the state Capitol. Their joint statement:
Today, we can proudly announce that we have reached agreement on an FY 2013 state budget plan that enjoys our full support.
This agreement adheres to our conservative principles by restraining unnecessary spending, paying down debt and setting aside funding for Arizona’s future fiscal challenges. This is a prudent budget that leaves us well-prepared for global and national economic uncertainties, as well as the financial fallout that may come with the outcome of lawsuits regarding ObamaCare and other issues. We have kept the State on a path that helps ensure Arizona’s financial solvency into FY 2015.
Just as important, this budget addresses those services that are vital to citizens and central to Arizona’s ability to compete around the world for jobs and investment: Education, Public Safety and Health and Human Services. By way of this agreement, the State will spend nearly $200 million more for K-12 and higher education, hire additional Public Safety and Correctional officers and create a special investigative unit to target the highest-priority cases of potential child abuse and neglect. Likewise, State funding will be increased for critical safety net programs, including adoption services and assistance for the seriously mentally ill.
We haven't seen the actual document, but earlier today, the Children's Action Alliance fired off a bulletin about the organization's takeaways of the draft in handy graph form:
Here's a PDF if you'd like to download: 2012_budget_comparisons.pdf
Arizona Public Media's Arizona Week takes a closer look at the budget negotiations at 8:30 p.m. tonight on Channel 6.