the first true bipartisan budget since Governor Napolitano. We passed a historic water deal, tribal gaming was something that also happened during this time … there was a special session on wildfires, and we were able to negotiate $90 million in ARPA funding to provide direct assistance to Arizona nonprofit organizations to support the community.
Gov. Doug Ducey said the Educational Savings Accounts that were approved last session were among the legislation he is most proud of from the last session.
House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, is pleased that what he called the “first true bipartisan budget since Governor Napolitano” was passed by state lawmakers last session. He also is happy that a historic water deal was approved, along with tribal gaming and a special session was held on wildfires during his last two years as House minority leader.
Senate President Karen Fann said it has been a huge honor serving as president in the Senate. She is only the second female Senate president in Arizona. Fann said some highlights of the past session for her include lawmakers passing a water bill, as well as a bipartisan budget and a K-12 base funding increase.
Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers said it was a “blessing” to be forced to have to work with Democrats on bills involving education, water and other issues in the past legislative session.
Major budget accomplishments were achieved as real investments in dealing with critical water needs, transportation infrastructure, pension debt payoffs, Rainy Day Fund investments, state employee pay raises and even tax relief as regards to the State Equalization Tax Rate were passed.
The Fiscal Year 2023 budget is now law.
Only an elite few will benefit from an unprecedented and unpopular expansion of education savings accounts, while more than one million Arizona public school students will continue to attend some of the lowest-funded schools in the country.
Though some education groups said it didn’t go far enough, others lauded the $18 billion bipartisan budget passed early Thursday morning as a step in the right direction for K-12 education funding.
The Fiscal Year 2023 budget is finally on the move with at least one House Democrat in favor and one Republican opposed to it.
Our legislators cannot squander this opportunity to use the budget surplus to address the crises plaguing the state, transforming Arizona for the better now and in the future. It is their duty as public servants.