Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey highlighted schools, safety and savings in releasing a 2017 fiscal year budget Tuesday that spurns tax increases and stresses stability in spending to swing the state back to a positive fiscal position.
Ducey’s budget is designed to bring Arizona to a positive structural balance for the first time since 2007, his office said. Recognizing public education, child safety and public security as priorities, Ducey emphasized that his budget is values-based.
“We have a moral and legal obligation to pass a balanced budget and, just as importantly, we have a responsibility to protect our most vital commitments and vulnerable citizens,” Ducey said. “This budget brings us to structural balance by the end of fiscal 2017 while making critical investments in K-12 education, child safety and public safety – all without raising taxes.”
The 2017 plan calls for investing $106 million in K-12 schools statewide, which comes after a $224 million package added last year, and $18 million more directed to universities. Additionally, $134 million is allotted for child safety, $31.5 million for border protection and $1.6 million directed to create a 100-bed community correctional center in Maricopa County.
"I am pleased to once again hear the governor’s commitment to a structurally balanced budget while we also meet the pressing needs of our state,” state Senate President Andy Biggs said. “This session we will work responsibly to spend within our means and make choices that will grow the economy and enhance opportunity for Arizonans.”
House Speaker David Gowan concurred, voicing his commitment to “keeping this state out of the red and on a fiscally stable path,” and pledging to continue the legislature’s hard work for Arizona constituents.