The Arizona Legislature has approved a budget for the upcoming year which slightly boosts spending and replenishes the state’s rainy day fund.
There is nearly $90 million in new education spending for K-12. The $21 million for the university system includes $15 million for Northern Arizona University and ASU to bring per pupil funding to U of A levels. The budget plan’s increased education provides $40 million for early childhood education and literacy and $15 million for school capital.
The proposed budget also raises spending for public safety. $20 million is budgeted for construction of new maximum security prison beds, with an additional $30 million for next year. By 2015, $16 million is expected to be allocated for 1,000 new beds which will be privately managed.
In health care, nearly $40 million will be put toward services for the mentally ill.
$450 million will likely be approved for the Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund.
Governor Brewer is expected to approve the budget bills approved by lawmakers yesterday.