Gov. Hobbs had several goals for her 1st budget. Here’s what she got, what was left out

Stacey Barchenger

Arizona Republic

Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs is poised to sign her first budget, a $17.8 billion plan to spend taxpayer dollars that was brokered behind closed doors with Republican leaders and that irked many within her own party.

As she and the GOP frame it, the deal was a result of compromise.

“Not everybody got what they wanted, but I’m thankful legislative leaders were able to set aside their differences, compromise, and support a bipartisan deal,” the governor said in a statement Wednesday.

As for what Hobbs wanted, the numbers are in her favor, though several of her most high-profile priorities are not in the final budget she is expected to sign in the coming days.

Earlier this year, in her January budget proposal, Hobbs highlighted just over 90 things she wanted to fund, and on more than 50 of those she’ll get all or part of what she wanted, according to an analysis of budget records by The Arizona Republic. The remainder were left out, but that group includes some major goals Hobbs set for herself earlier this year.

Missing from the budget deal are tax exemptions on diapers and feminine hygiene products. There’s no child tax credit, no $250 million deposit into the state’s rainy day fund and no $40 million pool for college scholarships for children of undocumented immigrants — something likely axed in compromise with Republicans, who loudly objected to that element of Hobbs’ plans.

There’s also no scaling back of the state’s universal private school voucher program, despite Hobbs’ call for a repeal, and that discrepancy drew public condemnation from a key public school advocacy group.

What also did not emerge from the weeks of behind the scenes budget dealing with GOP leaders was any evidence that Hobbs pushed for other wins, like an agreement that the Senate would confirm agency nominees stuck in limbo, or a deal on a transportation funding tax that has left city leaders in a panic.


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May 2023