ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs releases budget proposal for 2025 fiscal year

Jan 12, 2024, 3:21 PM | Updated: 5:16 pm

Gov. Katie Hobbs released her executive budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year. (Photo by Kevin D...

Gov. Katie Hobbs released her executive budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

PHEONIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs released her budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year on Friday.

It’s Hobbs’ second time presenting a budget to the GOP-controlled state legislature.

The total figure was projected to be somewhere near $16 billion, $1.8 billion lower than the budget that passed last year.

EPA funding

One of the many sticking points to last year’s budget was be funding to the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey, and it is expected to be a debate topic again.

Her 2025 budget plan would require students to have previously attended public school for 100 days to become eligible for the ESA voucher.

Hobbs’ original 2024 budget plan called for the complete removal of the program. Republicans staunchly defended the program, which is currently being used by more than 73,000 students throughout the state.

Other funding

One area that the plan calls for a reduction is a one-time, 1% cut to funding for the operating funds of both the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch.

This is to help combat a deficit that was projected to be upwards of $400 million and $450 million the following year.

The budget includes $6 million in funding to the Secretary of State’s office as they prepare for a presidential election year.

Also, the budget includes a $2 million increase in lottery advertisement funding from $15.5 million to $17.5 million. An economic analysis shows the increase could increase revenue by six dollars for every one dollar spent.

Money allocation

The governor’s budget proposal allocates money to six broad sectors including the following:

  • Public safety, border security and corrections
  • Healthcare access
  • Housing and human services
  • Improving education
  • Resilience, water and the environment
  • Infrastructure

It also provides budget investments to various departments of government and additional investments in housing, childcare, infrastructure and in the state’s workforce.

Those specific categories are more broadly defined under the Good Government and Affordable and Thriving Economy sectors.

Historical references

Last year, Hobbs presented a $17.1 billion budget proposal in January that was countered by a $15.8 billion proposal by by the legislature.

Ultimately, the two sides agreed on a budget of $17.8 billion for the 2024 fiscal year that Hobbs signed in May.

Then-Gov. Ducey signed an $18 billion package during his last term in June 2022.

KTAR’ Balin Overstolz contributed to this report. 

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs releases budget proposal for 2025 fiscal year