This morning, March 7, we passed Arizona’s balanced budget, a fiscally responsible, bipartisan spending plan that sets priorities, makes real permanent decisions and solves the state’s structural deficit while protecting vulnerable populations.
This is a values-based budget that reflects key priorities for the state of Arizona. It protects classrooms, child safety and public safety – all while eliminating the state’s structural deficit by 2017 and protecting you, the taxpayer, from a tax increase. Here are the highlights:
•Fiscal responsibility: Balances the budget and forces government to live within its means; eliminates the structural deficit by 2017; it sets priorities: child safety, classrooms, public safety; $326 million in spending reductions; overall 2.3 percent reduction to government spending; and protects taxpayers: No tax increase.
•Child and public safety: $849 million for child safety; $1.5 billion for public safety; 16 percent of the general fund budget is for child safety/public safety.
•Classrooms first: In total, schools will have more than $10 billion including state, federal, capital and local funds; nearly 20 percent increase in general fund investment in K-12 since 2010; 49 percent of state general fund budget will go to education (K-12 and universities combined); protects classroom funding, with a net increase in new dollars; and for Teach for America: $500,000 in new permanent funding.
•Higher education: Budget includes more than $600 million in general fund dollars for universities; 7 percent of state general fund budget; protects rural community colleges from reductions.
Our budget recognizes that meaningful and lasting improvement in our schools and economy won’t happen until government stops spending money it doesn’t have, and starts living within its means – the same way Arizona families, businesses and individuals do day in and day out.
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