Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AZ Senate Budget Takes Express Train; Education Targeted for Additional Cuts

On Tuesday, March 15, 2011, the Arizona Senate voted to suspend rules for the consideration of the Senate’s budget package. Thirteen bills relating to FY 2011-2012 were posted shortly after 5 p.m. (MST) for a brief public review before being assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee agenda for Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. in Senate Hearing Room 109.

The Senate’s budget proposal is in stark contrast to Governor Brewer’s. While the Governor proposes $842 million in cuts, the Senate’s budget contains over $1.3 billion in cuts across state agencies in fiscal year 2011-2012. The Arizona Republic reports Tuesday evening, “[t]he Senate Republicans’ plan has approximately $400 million of cuts beyond those proposed by Brewer. They include, [$]172 million from K-12 schools, $65 million from universities and $67 million from health programs and social services.”

This means that K-12 education would have a total cut of $262 million in fiscal year 2011-2012. If the Senate budget is adopted, total cuts to Arizona K-12 education funding, community colleges and universities in the last three years would amount to $1.445 billion.

Senate’s State FY 2011-2012 K-12 and Higher Education Budget Bills:

SB 1617 K-12 Education; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation
SB 1618 Higher Education; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

AEN has signed in “Opposed” to SB 1617 and SB 1618.


We are concerned that the suspension of rules prohibits a proper public review, and calls into question the transparency of the process. Additionally, without information from the Joint Legislative Budget Council relating to the fiscal impact–good or bad–of any bills within in the budget, it is difficult to determine whether or not this budget is fiscally sound and in the long term best interest of Arizona and our overall economic recovery.

Senate’s State FY 2011-2012 Budget Bills:

SB 1612 General Appropriations 2011-2012

SB 1613 2011-2012 Capital Outlay

SB 1614 2011-2012 State Budget Procedures

SB 1615 Consolidation; State Agencies

SB 1616 Revenue; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

SB 1619 Health; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

SB 1620 Welfare; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

SB 1621 Criminal Justice; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

SB 1622 General Government; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

SB 1623 Regulation; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

SB 1624 Environment; 2011-2012; Budget Reconciliation

Related Articles

Governor’s Budget Proposals on Fast Track?, AEN, February 21, 2011

Brewer scales back plan to cut Medicaid, Arizona Republic, March 15, 2011

Education “Protected”? FY 2008-2010 Cuts Itemized, AEN, January 28, 2011