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Senate Leadership on passage of Legislative budget in Appropriations Committees

“The Senate and House today took a major step in the Legislature’s Constitutional duty to pass a budget for the State of Arizona. The Appropriations Committees in the Senate and House passed a budget that is structurally balanced, with no accounting gimmicks, no new borrowing and no agency fund sweeps.

The Legislature and Governor made tough decisions on the budget last year that many criticized. Now, we are seeing the benefits of making those difficult calls then, with a proposed budget that makes no new cuts, and puts Arizona in an outstanding position to come out of the worst economic downturn of our lifetime.

This budget also prepares us for the future, with $250 million in a rainy day fund. No longer will Arizona be caught off guard by an uncertain economic future. In FY ‘15, projections show a deficit of more than $600 million, and that is without the Governor’s additional spending proposals. We must remain conservative on our spending plans.

We also must begin cleaning up our debt problem. The Legislature proposes providing $200 million to start paying off the tremendous debt we have incurred.

We understand there will likely be changes to this budget before it is finalized. The Governor has indicated she is anxious to meet with leadership in the Legislature to discuss the numbers and provide further input. We are looking forward to those discussions to build the best financial framework for the people of our great state.”

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