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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Republicans Eliminate Deficit, Increase Border Security Spending, Fully Fund Public Safety, Protect School Choice, Shrink Government in 2024-2025 State Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

Saturday, June 15, 2024



Republicans Eliminate Deficit, Increase Border Security Spending, Fully Fund Public Safety, Protect School Choice, Shrink Government in 2024-2025 State Budget

 

PHOENIX, ARIZONA— A major win for the Grand Canyon State today after the Republican-led Arizona State Legislature passed a balanced and conservative 2024-2025 state budget that eliminates a $1.4 billion shortfall, reduces ongoing spending and shrinks government, while increasing border security investments, fully funding public safety, protecting school choice, and safeguarding investments in the roads, freeways and highways our citizens rely on.

 

"Following last year's state budget, where Republican lawmakers provided inflationary relief to everyday Arizonans through $274 million in tax rebates distributed to struggling families, as well as a ban on the tenant-paid rental tax taking effect this January, Republicans are again successfully supporting our hardworking citizens while simultaneously reining in spending," said Senate President Warren Petersen. "In this year's budget, we defended more than $520 million allocated last year for much-needed transportation projects statewide. We also cut fees for Maricopa County drivers on emissions testing by 5%, and we banned fee increases on Arizonans from state boards for the next two years."

 

"We tightened the state's belt by trimming fat from state agencies, and we reallocated unspent tax dollars to the general fund to eliminate the deficit, without irresponsibly tapping into our rainy-day fund," said Senate Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh. "Most government operations within the state received a healthy and manageable 3.5% reduction in spending, with a few exceptions. Safe communities free of crime and a secure border are the biggest priorities to Arizonans and Republicans alike, and we want to ensure our budget reflects that. As a result, funding for the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Corrections, and the Arizona Auditor General remains intact, while we're also investing millions in border security, all without raising taxes or creating new debt."

 

"What's not included in the $16.1 billion budget is an elimination of the historic Universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program or our School Tuition Organizations program providing tens of thousands of Arizona families the freedom to pick the best schools to meet their children's unique learning needs," said Majority Whip Sine Kerr. "We are continuing our commitment to providing every family in the state of Arizona with a quality education, no matter their zip code or economic status. Additionally, we said 'no' when Governor Hobbs and Democrats proposed eliminating our Arizona Freedom Schools at our public universities, which are dedicated to civics education and ensuring students are equipped down the road to lead our state to a brighter tomorrow."

 

"Our budget also reflects our support for our citizens' Second Amendment rights," said Senator David Gowan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, Public Safety & Border Security. "We're funding two full time positions at the Department of Public Safety to address a backlog of concealed carry permit applications and renewals, with a requirement to prioritize Arizona residents first. This move can have a positive impact in our state by ultimately strengthening the safety and security of our communities as our citizens seek avenues to protect themselves, their families, and their private property. Additionally in this budget, we're infusing crucial dollars into the Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) located in our rural communities, so these residents have convenient access to emergency care."


Highlights of the $16.1 billion State of Arizona budget for 2024-2025:

 

  • Reduces state spending by $1.7 billion below the 2023-2024 enacted budget (a 10% reduction).

 

  • Reduces ongoing spending by $330 million.

 

  • Protects school choice programs- both Empowerment Scholarship Accounts and School Tuition Organizations are funded for continued growth.

 

  • Protects Arizona Freedom Schools.

 

  • Does not pull dollars from the rainy-day fund.

 

  • No new taxes or tax increases.

 

  • No new debt.

 

  • Reduces ongoing funding of state agencies by 3.5%, including cuts to universities by $23 million.

 

  • Maintains law enforcement funding, while adding $5 million for local border security support and $4 million for fentanyl interdiction and law enforcement response.

 

  • Prohibits board fee increases for 2 years.

 

  • Lowers vehicle emissions testing fees by 5%.

 

  • Ends ongoing funding for COVID federal programs.

 

  • Maintains road infrastructure funding.

 

  • Adds additional full-time employees to reduce concealed carry permit application and renewal time frames.

 

  • Makes conservative policy and spending reforms to the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Industrial Commission of Arizona, and the Board of Technical Registration.

 

To see an entire breakdown of the 2024-2025 State of Arizona budget bills, visit www.azleg.gov.

 

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For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

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