Republican legislative leadership and the governor have justified shameful cuts to education and social safety net programs in the name of balancing the budget.
Saying they were “making tough choices” to “balance the budget,” they cut $117 million from K-12 funding, $115 million from higher education and millions from social safety net programs. But not only did they make the wrong choices, it turns out, they did not balance the budget.
The governor recently signed a law that will increase income tax deductions from certain, specialized business investments from $25,000 to $500,000 a year. This could cost the state another $31 million that wasn’t accounted for in the so-called balanced budget.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), the Legislature’s budget office, shows that this law will leave Arizona’s budget structurally imbalanced for years to come. Here is a full analysis from JLBC.
Although education and social services will have to suffer more cuts, the Republican budget did fund new private prison beds, while protecting and expanding more than $3 billion in corporate and special interest tax cuts. Here is a list of some of the new tax cuts Republicans supported this year.
Time and time again the Republicans have shown that they are more interested in promoting an agenda that puts the priorities of special interest groups ahead of Arizona kids and Arizona’s economic future. If you have ideas or an opinion about this you’d like to share, click here to find ways to ensure your voice is heard.