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Arizona Economist Weighs In On State Budget

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed the education funding portion of the budget early this morning, giving teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020.

It’s a plan he first introduced weeks ago in an attempt to head off the teacher walkout that’s been going on for the last six days across the state. But, it didn’t work.

Teachers and education advocates criticized the plan for being based on overly optimistic economic forecasts among other reasons. In response, Gov. Ducey wrote an open letter about it and addressed some of those concerns.

He said that leading economists in Arizona and around the country agree that our state is showing momentum in key metrics like job growth, population increases and corresponding income gains.

One of those economists was Dennis Hoffman, professor of economics at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business and director of the Seidman Research Institute. He has been forecasting revenue for the Executive Budget Office since 1983. He says a lot goes into these forecasts, and they are designed to be pretty conservative estimates of the economy’s growth.

Hoffman talked more about why he thinks these numbers are solid and how he thinks we should fund education in our state going forward.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.