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Proposed Arizona Budget Restores Some Education Funding, With A Catch

State lawmakers began debate yesterday on a nearly $9.6 billion spending plan for the coming Arizona fiscal year. The budget restores some of the money for K-­12 education and about a third of the nearly $100­ million cut from universities last year.

But it comes with a catch: $5 million of that is specifically for three so-­called free enterprise programs started with money from financier Charles Koch.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough said the earmark is justified-- "They are a part of a research university, both of them. They're doing research. They're doing all the valuable things that universities do."

One thing not in the spending plan being pushed by Republican leadership is restoration of the KidsCare program to provide health insurance to children of the working poor.