Governor Ducey’s Budget Focuses On Education, Tax Relief

Governor Doug Ducey today released his fiscally responsible, recovery-focused budget for Fiscal Year 2022. With a resilient economy, the budget makes historic investments in K-12 education, public health, public safety, wildfire prevention, infrastructure, and more, while also providing tax relief to everyday Arizonans.

“Arizona is resilient, and we continue to move forward in the face of hardship, loss and disruption,” said Governor Ducey. “Our budget will keep us moving in the right direction, and it makes strategic investments in our greatest areas of need — K-12 education, forestry management, public health and much more. Kids have missed out on important learning opportunities and classroom time, and we need to use our resources to help students in need catch up and ensure students, regardless of background, stay on the path to success. Additionally, after many months of adjustments and uncertainty, we want to make sure everyday Arizonans and small businesses get to keep more of the money they earn. Arizona’s economy is resilient, and this budget will support that. I look forward to working with lawmakers on a budget that is fiscally responsible and ensures Arizonans’ needs are met.”

The Governor’s budget lays the foundation for sustainable solutions and ensures everyday taxpayers and working families keep their hard-earned money. It invests nearly $400 million to get Arizona kids caught up after disruption caused by the pandemic, plus an additional $250 million for K-12 education above and beyond inflation. It includes additional dollars for COVID-19 response, public safety, higher education, rural broadband and more.

Governor Ducey’s budget also reserves $200 million in tax relief for working families and Arizona small businesses, phasing to $600 million over the next three years.

The proposed budget builds upon Governor Ducey’s priorities of reducing recidivism and wildfire prevention by including $24 million for the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative, a joint program between the Departments of Forestry and Fire Management and Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry. The Healthy Forest Initiative expands opportunities for state inmates to learn crucial job skills for post-sentence employment by treating our state’s land and wildlife, putting a greater focus on fire prevention.

In addition, Arizona remains well-prepared with the Rainy Day Fund, which currently sits at $954.4 million. While many states used these funds to address shortfalls in response to the pandemic, Arizona last year used $55 million to address one-time public health expenses — not shortfalls.

Highlights of the Executive Budget include:

K-12 EDUCATION

  • $389 million to establish a grant program for high-impact intervention and programming to mitigate learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $10 million to inform families about education options and support transportation innovations that expand school choice
  • $6.9 million to advance early literacy learning and instruction
  • $4.4 million to scale innovative programs that serve vulnerable students
  • $4.1 million for programs that set students up for success in college and other education programs
  • $2 million to create two additional signature civics education programs
  • $500,000 to expand the Alternative Teacher Development Program
  • $400,000 to expand Jobs For Arizona Graduates, which enrolls students in innovative programs designed to keep students on track to graduate
  • $119 million for school building renewal grants
  • $52.6 million to complete two schools already under instruction and start construction on five new schools

HEALTH AND WELFARE

  • $3.3 million to hire 32 additional long-term care surveyors to address high caseloads and backlog
  • $18 million to fund the continuation of the Child Care Waitlist and for a new pilot program that provides childcare to children of parents pursuing education and nursing degrees
  • $92.7 million in FY 21 supplemental funding for the stabilization of child care centers and to further support providers during the pandemic
  • $2.9 million to reduce investigator caseload for Arizona Department of Economic Security Adult Protective Services
  • $1.5 million to increase provider rates for Adult and Aging Services Agencies
  • $25 million for the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, focused on keeping children safely with their families
  • $6 million to continue providing services to underinsured or uninsured persons seeking substance abuse treatment

HIGHER EDUCATION

  • $35 million to support the public universities’ workforce development for the New Economy initiative
  • $115 million in COVID-19 relief, provided via CARES Act funding
  • $6 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding to support the state’s future teachers through the Arizona Teachers Academy

ECONOMY AND REVENUE

$200 million to ensure Arizona taxpayers and small businesses keep more of their hard-earned money, with additional investments phasing up to $600 million by FY 24

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • $54 million to address building renewal needs across the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR), which includes $25 million for critical safety projects at the Eyman Complex
  • $17.9 million to provide additional bed capacity management space in ADCRR
  • $5 million to expand substance abuse treatment programs in prisons
  • $13.8 million to equip Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) employees with body cameras and necessary support for video and IT management
  • $7 million to further DPS trooper recruitment and retention efforts
  • $16.2 million to perform system-critical updates to the statewide land mobile radio network, with additional investment in FY 23 and FY 24

NATURAL RESOURCES

  • $24 million to increase workforce and partnerships through the AZ Healthy Forest Initiative
  • $8 million to increase the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management’s wildfire suppression budget
  • $5 million to fully fund the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund Program

GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

  • $375,900 to establish a state enterprise-wide hoteling pilot program in response to the significant increase in teleworkers
  • $7.8 million to launch a straightforward online portal to complete all state government functions needed to start a business
  • $33.1 million to fund a major expansion of the I-40 West broadband corridor, in addition to $40 million in Federal CARES Act funding for the I-19 and I-17 broadband corridors
  • $10 million to renew and bolster the Rural Broadband Grant Program

View the Summary Book HERE.

View the State Agency Book HERE.

View the Sources and Uses of State Funds HERE.

 

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