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Hobbs signs Arizona budget as fight over opioid settlement funds looms

Katie Hobbs
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Katie Hobbs

Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a roughly $16 billion budget Tuesday that narrowly passed the Republican-controlled Legislature with bipartisan support over the weekend.

The budget makes sweeping cuts to address massive deficits in the current and upcoming fiscal year.

In a statement, Hobbs praised bipartisan efforts to pass a budget she negotiated with the two Republican leaders of the state House and Senate.

“Despite facing a $1.8 billion budget deficit, we showed Arizonans that we can work across the aisle and compromise to balance the budget and deliver for everyday Arizonans,” she said.

Several other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed frustration that they were asked to get on board with the budget just a few days after it was released.

Democrats were particularly frustrated that the budget leaves the state’s private school voucher program largely untouched.

Going forward, Hobbs noted that she’s not done looking at changes to the program.

Nobody got everything they wanted in the spending plan, Hobbs said, but the budget is balanced going forward.

Hobbs specifically praised investments to the Housing Trust Fund and increased support for security in Arizona’s border communities.

Other aspects of the budget remain in contention.

The governor and Kris Mayes, Arizona’s Democratic attorney general, disagree over the use of millions of dollars from an opioid settlement that the budget sweeps to cover costs at the Department of Corrections.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.
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