Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed “a conservative and comprehensive” $8.6 billion budget that includes a $25 million set-aside to replace the expected loss of federal funds for social safety-net programs.
The spending plan reflects an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous year and also places $450 million in the state’s rainy-day fund, which can be used to pay for the possible implementation of Obamacare in 2014 and other emergency expenditures.
“Today, I proudly signed into law a conservative and comprehensive budget plan that adds real resources to our state’s most critical programs, while setting aside dollars for the fiscal challenges that lay ahead,” Brewer said in a statement.
The Arizona Republic
reported Monday the budget resulted from negotiations between the Republican governor, who wanted additional funds to restore spending in key areas, and the GOP legislative leadership, which wanted to cut spending.
In addition to the $25 million set-aside for increased social spending, the budget also raises education funding to $248.3 million, includes $57 million to expand prison and public safety programs, and has $54.7 million to augment state services for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.
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