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Lawmakers Poised to Pass AZ Budget

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.

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