/ Modified jun 19, 2024 12:54 p.m.

Arizona governor signs budget into law after fierce negotiations to make up a massive shortfall

The spending plan is the result of weeks of negotiations between the Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders.

Hobbs State of the State AP Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs arrives to give the state of the state address at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.
AP Photo,Ross D. Franklin

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a series of fiercely negotiated budget bills into law on Tuesday, erasing a shortfall of over $1 billion by cutting back on higher education, trimming funding for state agencies, and raiding some special funds.

An agreement on the spending plan was announced over the weekend.

“Despite facing a $1.8 billion budget deficit, we showed Arizonans that we can work across the aisle and compromise to balance the budget and deliver for everyday Arizonans,” Hobbs said in a statement.

“Nobody got everything they wanted, but this bipartisan, balanced budget puts our state on solid financial ground,” she added.

The spending plan is the result of weeks of negotiations between the Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders. Some conservative Republicans said the plan still spends too much, while some Democratic lawmakers were disappointed they were not part of the negotiations.

The budget retrenchment marks a turnabout from a year ago when Hobbs and lawmakers projected a massive surplus and secured overwhelming support for the budget by letting lawmakers dole out money for their own priorities and pet projects.

It soon became clear the state was taking in far less money than expected.

Much of the reduced spending in the new budget comes from delaying or eliminating some of the expenditures approved last year.

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