Lawmakers Approve 2015 Budget

April 08, 2014

Arizona lawmakers gave final approval Monday night to a budget for fiscal 2015. The $9.23 billion spending plan is more than Senate Republicans originally proposed but less than the House and Gov. Jan Brewer wanted.

It gives the state’s universities some extra money, provides cash for district-sponsored charter schools and for higher retirement fund payouts for Prescott, which was hard-hit by the deaths of 19 firefighters last year.

Republican Rep. John Allen went along even though the budget is not balanced, and depends on leftover money from the temporary sales tax to make up the difference.

“Too much money is taken out of the pantries of the taxpayer and put on to the public system for things that people would not choose to spend their money on,” Allen said.

Democratic Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford says the state could have spent more, by investing in public education.

“We have given away tax credits to corporations, student tuition tax credits, tax breaks, all that money from the taxpayers not going to the general fund that should be shared by all,” Cajero Bedford said.

An aide to Brewer says she plans to review the spending plan before deciding if she’ll sign it.