Monday, April 23, 2012

State budget is past due, House Democrats have a proposal that is ready now

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The Arizona State Legislature has been in session for more than 100 days and it is past due on finishing a budget.

“Gov. Jan Brewer’s political grandstanding is preventing this body from doing the only thing the state Constitution requires, passing a budget,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 14), said. “Her budget is unrealistic and negotiations between the governor and the Republicans appear to be breaking down because of it.”

House Democrats proposed a budget that is responsible and realistic. The Democratic Budget invests modest amounts in areas that have been ignored by the governor. In fiscal year 2013, the proposed Democratic Budget creates jobs in tourism, health care and construction. It is the only budget proposal that reinstates funding for KidsCare, so that Arizona is no longer the only state in the nation not funding this healthcare program for children of working parents.

“The governor’s proposed budget does nothing for KidsCare, leaving thousands of Arizona children without health care coverage,” Campbell said. “She also sticks the state with a $540 million shortfall by fiscal year 2015. That is shortsighted and irresponsible.”

Assistant Minority Leader Steve Farley, D-Tucson (District 28), said he would like to set aside the partisan bickering and work with the Republicans on a budget that will create jobs and improve education.

“We must pass a budget and it must be realistic and responsible,” Farley said. “We can’t afford to play politics with this.”

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