Key points of Arizona budget planPosted: Updated:
Highlights of legislative Republicans' budget-balancing plan, which is largely modeled on Gov. Jan Brewer's January budget proposal:
- Spending cuts include returning state funding for kindergarten to half-days to save $218.3 million. The change erases a major policy initiative of former Gov. Janet Napolitano.
- Authorize Brewer's administration to change Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System rules to drop 310,000 people. Those people are eligible for the state Medicaid program under a voter-approved law. A separate change would eliminate the KidsCare program providing coverage for 47,000 children.
- Ask voters in November to approve ballot measures to divert $450 million from two voter-mandated programs. One measure would repeal the First Things First early childhood development program outright. The other program would leave the Growing Smart land conservation program alive but take all of its current funding.
- The plan presumes that voters will approve a temporary sales tax increase, already placed on a May 18 special election ballot as Proposition 100. But it also includes $867 million of conditional spending cuts that would take effect if voters reject the one-cent, three-year increase. Most of the conditional cuts would fall on education, predominantly on K-12 schools.
- Abolish the Juvenile Corrections Department by March 1, 2011 and transfer its responsibilities and facilities to counties.
- Cut most state employees' pay by 2.75 percent and require six days off without pay in each of next two fiscal years.
- Increase the state's borrowing to help cover budget gaps. In the current year, $450 million in education spending would be temporarily delayed. In the next fiscal year, the state would add $100 million of sale-leaseback financing for state buildings.
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