Arizona Lawmakers Approve Bill That Would Erase $1 Billion Debt

( – Arizona lawmakers have approved a bipartisan budget deal that would erase over one billion dollars in shortfall by curbing spending on higher education and state agencies.

The plan was put in place after week-long negotiations between Katie Hobbs, the Democratic Governor, and Republican legislative leaders. Some Republicans have continued to say that the plan is still spending too much money and don’t necessarily agree with all the details of the plan.

Said Travis Grantham, a Republican Representative of Gilbert, Arizona, “This is a product of a divided government and some compromise — and sometimes if you can’t find something good in this budget, you will not find anything good in any budget.”

“Arizonians can rest assured that their state has a balanced budget. I’m thankful for members of the legislature who came together, compromised, and passed this bipartisan agreement,” said Hobbs.

The budget was originally set as lawmakers received support for the budget, but it became clear quickly that the state was thinking of a budget that was much less than they were anticipating. To reduce spending in this current budget proposal, they have been delaying or eliminating some of the approved expenditures from last year.

Almost all of Arizona’s state agencies will take a cut to their funding besides prisons and state police, which are exempt from these cuts.

Lawmakers have cut funding for new school construction and also pulled funding from school districts which are used for non salary items like textbooks. A planned deposit of over three hundred million dollars that was going to a savings account for future water infrastructure was also canceled.

The budget shortfall is mainly due to falling revenues from a massive tax cut that took effect last year as well as a decline in sales tax expenses while consumers face higher prices.

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