Arizona Legislature passes FY 2023 budget with support from both parties

The Arizona state Legislature early Thursday morning passed an $18 billion fiscal year 2023 budget with support from members of both parties. 

The House of Representatives completed its work on the 17 bills that comprise the budget around 4 a.m., with the Senate completing its work at about 5:30 a.m. 

Gov. Doug Ducey applauded the bipartisan agreement reached by lawmakers. 

“The state’s budget makes strategic and fiscally responsible investments in areas that matter most to all Arizonans: education, border security, public safety, infrastructure, saving for our future, reducing taxes and paying down debt. For rural and urban Arizonans, families, young professionals and small business owners – this is a budget that delivers,” he said. 

Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers said he was pleased that the deal was able to attract support from Republicans and Democrats. 

“I am grateful that such a large majority of House members, Republicans and Democrats, have had enough wisdom and courage to work together to find answers to the major problems of our state,” he said. “Reaching bipartisan agreement on taking care of the needs of the people of Arizona shouldn’t be a rare or historic event, as this was. My hope is that this inspires and fosters a renewal of the cooperative spirit that our great state was built upon.” 

House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding said cobbling together the bipartisan budget was “not an easy process,” but he was ultimately satisfied with the agreement. 

“There are things in this plane we like, things we don’t. Things we love, things we hate. But weighed all together the good in this budget – finally – outweighs the bad,” he said. 

Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden hailed the agreement. 

“I applaud lawmakers for working together to pass a bipartisan, broadly supported and structurally balanced state budget that invests in Arizona’s highest priorities,” he said. “When Gov. Ducey released his first executive budget in 2015, Arizona faced a $1 billion shortfall. Thanks to eight years of responsible decision-making and pro-growth policies that have cut government regulations, slashed taxes for hardworking Arizonans and businesses and grown Arizona’s economy, we entered this session with an unprecedented $5 billion surplus that has allowed us to make much-needed investments in Arizona’s present and future.” 

The budget includes more than $1 billion in funding for water conservation. The Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committees in the House and Senate are expected on Thursday afternoon to take up legislation to establish the structure to implement the investment in water stewardship. 

“Our economic growth can only be sustained so long as we have a water supply that can support it,” Seiden said. “I look forward to the House and Senate passing this legislation that is so critical to Arizona’s future and ensuring the state’s water security for the next generation.” 

The budget includes funding for a public-private partnership designed to expand Arizona’s healthcare workforce by attracting, training, and retaining more Arizona nurses. 

According to the Health Systems Alliance of Arizona, the funding will increase the student capacity of the state’s nursing programs, support additional nurse preceptors to provide clinical training, and provide added resources for nurse professional development and training programs. 

“We appreciate the investments to address our healthcare workforce shortage, establish additional mental health resources, and provide increased access and care for our most vulnerable populations,” HSAA President and CEO Brittney Kaufmann said. “The ability to obtain high-quality healthcare is foundational to the physical and economic health of our state and citizens. These investments made by the state’s elected leadership recognize and support the importance of the healthcare community’s ability to continue to meet the growing healthcare needs of our state.” 

While adopting a state budget is the state Legislature’s sole mandate each legislative session, lawmakers must complete work on several more bills before they can adjourn for the year.

Robert Clarke

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