Ducey signs state budget, includes $50M for coronavirus response

Mar 28, 2020, 2:43 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a $11.8 billion budget that includes $50 million to help with coronavirus response, his office announced in a press release.

That $50 million is for programs that have already been announced to help residents who need eviction assistance, small businesses that are struggling, food banks and homeless people, according to the release.

“This is not the budget we envisioned in January. But our world has changed,” Ducey wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

“We are facing the realities of a public health emergency, and our priorities and our decisions have had to adjust accordingly.”

The bipartisan plan does not contain new spending beyond required inflation adjustments and pay raises that were promised for teachers with the 20 by 2020 plan.

The budget was finalized by majority Republicans and Democrats in the Senate last week.

Among large items in the budget is $175 million for the final installment teacher pay raises that will result in a 20% total increase.

Other items include $67 million for what Ducey’s office described as “flexible funding” for schools that can be used for needs including technology, textbooks and school personnel. There is an additional $90 million specifically for school repairs.

The budget includes $23 million for better access to child care for low-income working families and foster parents.

When the Legislature began its session in January, it expected a budget surprlus of almost $1 billion in addition to Arizona’s $1 billion rainy day fund, according to the Associated Press.

The budget adds to $55 million in emergency cash approved to fund the health department’s virus response efforts. That money would come from the state’s rainy day fund, according to AP.

“This is going to be more than a rainy day,” Ducey told KTAR News on Tuesday.

“We’re going to utilize every resource we have to protect Arizonans, to make sure we’re fighting this public health battle and then to make sure nobody falls through the cracks, and then as soon as its appropriate that we ramp that economy back up.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona couple who fought with cops after mask request sentenced

A Yuma couple has been sentenced to time behind bars on convictions stemming from a 2020 incident in which they fought with police after coughing on Walmart employees who asked them to wear masks during early months of the pandemic.
24 hours ago
(Photo from

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel out of rehab, plans to return to work

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel is out of rehab with plans to return to work on Monday.
24 hours ago
(Photo from Denny Riccelli)...

Tolleson high school teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

A high school teacher in Tolleson has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM's Gaydos and Chad Show's Pay Tribute to a teacher winner for August, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.
24 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
Kevin Stone

US 60 east of metro Phoenix reopens with new Pinto Creek bridge in place

After a nearly weeklong closure in both directions, U.S. 60 east of metro Phoenix reopened Friday with a shiny new bridge in place.
24 hours ago
(Google Maps Photo)...

2 Mesa high school students charged in separate threat incidents

Two high school students in Mesa were charged after making threats against their separate campuses Friday, police said.
24 hours ago
Luis Mauricio Delgadillo Garcia (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Phoenix police arrest suspect in killing of tow truck driver

A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a tow truck driver in west Phoenix earlier this month, authorities said Friday.
24 hours ago
Ducey signs state budget, includes $50M for coronavirus response