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Governor Ducey's finances is targeted on schooling, tax breaks – Flagstaff Enterprise & On-line Information | Native Northern Arizona Newspaper – Flagstaff Enterprise Information

Governor Doug Ducey today released his fiscally responsible, recreational budget for fiscal year 2022. With a resilient economy, the budget is making historic investments in K-12 education, public health, public safety, forest fire prevention, infrastructure, and more tax breaks for everyday Arizonians.

"Arizona is resilient and we continue to move forward in the face of hardship, loss and disruption," said Governor Ducey. “Our budget will move us in the right direction, making strategic investments in our greatest areas of need – K-12 education, forestry, public health, and more. Children missed critical learning opportunities and class times, and we need to use our resources to help students in need catch up and ensure that students, regardless of their background, stay on the path to success. Additionally, after many months of adjustment and uncertainty, we want to make sure that the Arizonans and small businesses keep more of the money they make on a day-to-day basis. Arizona's economy is resilient, and this budget will support that. I look forward to working with lawmakers on a budget that is tax-accountable and ensures that Arizona’s needs are met. "

The governor's budget lays the foundation for sustainable solutions and ensures that everyday taxpayers and working families keep their hard-earned money. It is investing nearly $ 400 million to catch up with children in Arizona following a disorder caused by the pandemic, as well as another $ 250 million in K-12 education, which goes beyond inflation. It includes additional dollars for COVID-19 measures, public safety, higher education, rural broadband, and more.

Governor Ducey's budget also includes $ 200 million in tax breaks for working families and small businesses in Arizona, gradually increasing to $ 600 million over the next three years.

The proposed budget builds on Governor Ducey's priorities to reduce relapse and forest fire prevention by allocating $ 24 million to the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative, a joint program of the departments of forestry and fire management, and corrections, rehabilitation and reentry. The Healthy Forest Initiative expands the opportunities for state residents to learn key professional skills for post-conviction employment by addressing our state's land and wildlife, and by placing greater emphasis on fire safety.

Additionally, Arizona remains well prepared with the Rainy Day Fund currently valued at $ 954.4 million. While many states used these funds to address deficits in response to the pandemic, Arizona spent $ 55 million last year on one-time public health expenses – not deficits.

Executive budget highlights include:

K-12 EDUCATION

$ 389 million to establish a grant program for effective interventions and programs to mitigate learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
$ 10 million to educate families about education opportunities and support transportation innovations that expand school choices
$ 6.9 million to advance early learning and teaching of literacy skills
$ 4.4 million to scale innovative programs for vulnerable students
$ 4.1 million for programs that prepare students for success in college and other educational programs
$ 2 million to create two additional civic education programs
$ 500,000 to expand the Alternative Teacher Development Program
$ 400,000 to expand Jobs For Arizona Graduates, which enroll students in innovative programs to keep students on track for graduation
$ 119 million in grants to renovate school buildings
$ 52.6 million for the completion of two schools that are already teaching and the construction of five new schools

HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

$ 3.3 million to hire 32 additional long-term care assessors to help resolve high case numbers and backlogs
$ 18 million to fund the continuation of the childcare waiting list and a new pilot program providing childcare to children of parents pursuing education and nursing degrees
Additional funds of $ 92.7 million for FY21 to stabilize daycare and continue to support providers during the pandemic
$ 2.9 million to reduce the number of investigators for the Arizona Department of Economic Security's adult protection services
$ 1.5 million to increase provider rates for adult and aged services agencies
$ 25 million to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, which aims to keep children safe with their families
$ 6 million to continue providing services to underinsured or uninsured individuals seeking drug abuse treatment

HIGHER EDUCATION

$ 35 million to support public university staff development for the New Economy Initiative
$ 115M COVID-19 Aid provided through CARES Act funding
$ 6 million in Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding through the Arizona Teachers Academy to support future teachers in the state

ECONOMY AND REVENUE

$ 200 million to ensure Arizona taxpayers and small businesses keep more of their hard-earned cash. Additional investments will gradually increase to $ 600 million by fiscal year 24

PUBLIC SAFETY

$ 54 million for building renovation needs in the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR), including $ 25 million for critical safety projects in the Eyman Complex
$ 17.9 million for providing additional space to manage bed capacity in ADCRR
$ 5 million to expand drug abuse treatment programs in prisons
$ 13.8 million to equip the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) staff with body cameras and provide necessary support for video and IT management
US $ 7 million to further recruit and retain DPS soldiers
$ 16.2 million for system-critical updates to the nationwide cellular network with additional investments in FY 23 and FY 24

NATURAL RESOURCES

$ 24 million to increase workforce and partnerships through the AZ Healthy Forest Initiative
$ 8 million to add to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management's budget to fight forest fires
$ 5 million to fully fund the Revolving Fund water quality assurance program

GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

$ 375,900 to set up a state-run company-wide hotel pilot program in response to the sharp increase in the number of teleworkers
$ 7.8 million to launch a straightforward online portal to serve all state government functions required to start a business
US $ 33.1 million to finance major expansion of Broadband Corridor I-40 West and US $ 40 million to finance Broadband Corridors I-19 and I-17 through the Federal CARES Act
$ 10 million to renew and strengthen the Rural Broadband Grant program

You can find the complete book HERE.

You can find the State Agency Book HERE.

The sources and uses of government funds can be found HERE.

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