Arizona legislators Monday will get a look at the details of a state budget compromise, reported to put spending next fiscal year at $8.5 billion.
Gov. Jan Brewer, House Speaker Andy Tobin and Senate President Steve pierce issued a joint statement early Friday evening announcing the budget agreement had been reached. It came on the 110th day of the legislative session, after weeks of the governor and legislative leaders expressing opne opposition to one another's proposals.
The deal portends the end of the regular legislative session. The Senate could act on the budget as early as Monday, followed by House passage Tuesday. A number of other bills are pending, including Brewer's top priority state personnel system reform, and quick action is expected on them to bring the session to a close.
The Arizona Republic and the Associated Press reported various details of the budget in the wake of the joint statement on an agreement, including:
-- Up to $450 million for a rainy day fund insisted on by the Legislature to prepare the state for potential revenue downturns and new expenses in the next two years.
-- All the $37 million in funding for mental heath services and $42 million in welfare services including child care that the governor wanted.
-- All of the $50 million the governor wanted for maximum security prison expansion. The Republic reported the money is being swept from a mortgage relief fund that the state won as part of a lawsuit settlement.
-- Less funding than Brewer sought for various educational programs. Included is $40 million for an elementary school reading program; Brewer wanted $50 million. There's also $12 million for school building repairs; Brewer wanted $100 million. The agreement includes $50 million for school capital spending, on items such as books and computers; Brewer wanted $100 million.
The Republic reported that lobbyists were expected to spend the weekend contacting legislators seeking changes for their desired programs. Resultys of the lobbying efforts may be revealed in Monday's debate, amendments and votes on the legislative floor.