Meyer: The budget ‘jeopardizes the economic security of our state’
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democratic Leader Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), released this statement after Gov. Doug Ducey signed the budget:
“The governor just signed a budget that jeopardizes the economic security of our state. His claim that this budget is spending more money on education in the history of the state is misleading at best. Make no mistake – on a per pupil basis, there are no new funds for students in this budget when adjusted for inflation. It only includes money for student population growth and a fraction of the $330 million court-ordered inflation funds owed to our schools. Students, teachers and parents will be on the losing end of the shell game that this budget plays with education funding.
“The deep cuts to higher education included in this budget further threaten our state’s future. Universities will see their budgets slashed by nearly $100 million. Community colleges in Maricopa and Pima counties will lose all state funding. These cuts are a tax on middle-class families that will make access to higher education harder and will leave our students struggling to prepare for 21st century jobs.
“Arizonans came out in droves to protest these cuts, marching at the Capitol for days. The governor and the Republican leaders at the Legislature ignored these concerns and pushed their budget through in the middle of the night and into the early hours of the morning. And their claims that they were forced to make tough choices to balance the budget ring hollow. There are other options – including closing tax loopholes and ending special interest corporate giveaways.
“A budget is a statement of values. This budget indicates that the governor and Republicans value special interests over our kids and the long-term economic stability of our state.”