by Dan Gibson
From the Senate Democratic Caucus:
Senate Republican budget devastates Arizona’s economic recovery
STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix — Late Tuesday, Senate Republicans released a budget proposal that decimates education by cutting more than a half-billion dollars in vital funding from all levels of Arizona’s educational systems. The Senate Appropriations committee will hear the budget bills Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in Senate Hearing Room 109.
“The Senate Republicans are balancing Arizona’s budget on the backs of our children,” said Senate Minority Leader David Schapira. “This budget further devastates education at all levels by cutting more than $500 million from educational systems that have already taken severe cuts over the last few years. Implementing this budget will cement Arizona’s place as dead last in the country for educational spending.”
The Senate Republican spreadsheet misleads its readers to hide the full amount of cuts they are making. Rather than showing the total amount of cuts they are proposing, they only provide the amount they intend to cut on top of the Governor’s proposed cuts, which also severely impacts education and healthcare.
“We are throwing our healthcare industry and universities into chaos and shifting costs to struggling Arizonans,” said Sen. Paula Aboud, Senate Minority Whip and Ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations committee. “This budget will eliminate tens of thousands of jobs, raise tuition on all our students and eliminate healthcare for hundreds of thousands of people.”
Proposed total cuts in the Senate Republican budget proposal:
K-12 Education $242 million
Universities $235 million
Community Colleges $63 million
Department of Economic Security $97 million
Department of Health Services $20 million
The Senate Republican budget also includes an additional $55 million cost shift to counties for prisoners.
The bills are numbered SB 1612 to SB 1624 and are located online at: http://www.azleg.gov/Bills.asp?FirstBill=SB1601&LastBill=SB1650