ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona House speaker believes 2025 fiscal year budget agreement is near

Jun 6, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: 8:27 am

PHOENIX — Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma believes an agreement for the 2025 fiscal year budget could be close.

Toma couldn’t dive into specifics on what’s left to work on but said the combination of him, Senate President Warren Petersen and Gov. Katie Hobbs are close to agreeing on line items within the budget.

“It’s incredibly important that we actually find a way to get to a budget that we can all agree to because we can’t do it without each other,” Toma told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

Last year, Hobbs signed the budget on May 12, but it’s not uncommon for the governor’s signature to come in June. Former Gov. Doug Ducey signed the 2023 budget on June 28 and the 2022 budget on June 30.

What will be in the Arizona 2025 fiscal year budget?

Hobbs, a Democrat, released her budget proposal in January that allocates money to public safety, health care access, education, water, infrastructure and more.

Toma and other Republicans criticized the proposal, which would make changes and provide more oversight to the controversial ESA (Empowerment Scholarship Account) program.

Toma said he and other Republicans won’t budge when it comes to ESA negotiations.

“I’m going to protect that and that’s something that I’m not going to negotiate on,” Toma said.

Even so, Toma expects that the Republican-controlled Legislature will come to an agreement with Hobbs.

“I can say that behind closed doors, cooler heads have prevailed and that we do have honest conversations and that generally people keep their word, which is very important because if that wasn’t true, we couldn’t have these discussions.”

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Arizona House speaker believes 2025 fiscal year budget agreement is near