Meyer: Arizona needs a budget that prioritizes job creation, education and child safety
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), released this statement about the Republican budget proposal currently being considered in the Arizona Senate:
“The budget that House Republicans passed and that is being heard in the Senate this week would do two things. It would protect the status quo and it would promote special interests. This is especially disappointing considering that House Democrats offered a balanced budget proposal that funded job creation, education and child safety.
“The Republicans allowed partisanship to prevail and pushed through a budget that supports an ideological agenda at the expense of Arizona’s future. The Republican budget does nothing to rollback tax giveaways like student tuition organizations and the expansion of the empowerment scholarship accounts, which are basically voucher programs that syphon money from our public schools. It would, however, give another $900,000 to the ALEC-backed private prison industry which is ripping off the taxpayers and putting the public at risk.
“The House Democratic budget plan included $103 million for K-12 public education and $93 million for higher education so that Arizona students will be prepared to enter the workforce and be successful in our increasingly global economy. The Republican budget includes no significant increase in funds for K-12 or the universities after $3 billion in cuts over the past several years. It also bows to extremists by not funding Common Core implementation.
“Additionally, the Democratic plan included $193 million for child safety and health and human services. This money would be used to support preventative services and to hire enough child welfare caseworkers to handle their workload while providing them the resources they need to do their jobs. The budget the Republicans passed would ignore critical services including child care subsidies and domestic violence and hunger prevention.
“The House Republicans have a history of making the wrong choices for our state. They consistently prioritize tax cuts for big business and funding for special interests, like private prisons, above public education and child safety. This budget follows that trend. It’s a bad deal.”
A history of Republican budget cuts and a comparison of this year’s budget proposals are below.