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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey introduces budget for the 2023 fiscal year

Arizona+Gov.+Doug+Ducey+speaking+during+a+visit+at+the+University+of+Arizonas+Aerospace+and+Mechanical+Engineering+building+on+April+27%2C+2017.
Heather Newberry

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaking during a visit at the University of Arizona’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building on April 27, 2017.

Gov. Doug Ducey released a new state budget on Jan.14 that calls for $14 billion in spending, focusing the funds on border security, education, water and Arizona’s state parks. 

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the budget proposes $176.17 million in spending on public parks across the state and implementing a “44-project strategy that will serve as a catalyst in modernizing the parks system, improving park facilities and expanding broadband connectivity.”

The budget also proposes spending $1.16 billion on water augmentation, and state Democratic leaders praised the governor’s allocation of funds to fighting the water crisis in Arizona. This comes at a time in which the Colorado River, from which Arizona gets 36% of its water supply, has had its first ever declared water shortage, standing at 35% of its total capacity.

“We appreciate seeing the governor finally take Arizona’s water crisis seriously by announcing $1 billion for a desalination plant and other augmentation measures,” Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix, said. 

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Despite this commendation, Democratic legislators also expressed concern over Ducey’s proposed tax cuts. 

“Even the investments we support could ultimately be unsustainable if the Republicans’ excessive and reckless $2 billion tax cut for the wealthy is allowed to stand. Arizona’s economy and state revenues are benefiting from massive but temporary federal investments in COVID-19 relief and infrastructure,” State Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, said. 

Another aspect of the governor’s budget is funding for K-12 education. 

Ducey proposed investing another $322 million into K-12 education with an additional $100 million being funneled into a summer camp that will help to “close the achievement gap,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Another key element of Ducey’s budget proposal is tightening security along the Southern border. The governor hopes to invest $11.6 million to aid the creation of the American Governors’ Border Strike Force, with an additional $50 million being put towards the border security fund. According to a statement put out by the governor’s office, this funding will allow Arizona to “have enhanced patrolling, physical barriers, detention and prosecution at the border.”

Ducey also wants to increase monthly payment to kinship caregivers to $300, while it currently stands at $75. Compared to fostering, kinship arrangement is where a young person receives home care with someone they have had a previous relationship with. As part of a more extensive process of allowing kinship caregivers the same status as foster parents, he said he also hopes to make it easier for kinship caregivers to receive a foster license. 

“We’re going full throttle to leave Arizona stronger than we found it through targeted investments in education, public safety, border security, infrastructure and the things that matter to Arizonans,” Ducey said in a press release.


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