House Passes Budget Education Cuts Higher Than Governor Promised-Senate To Act Soon

**Updated with vote detail on related bills below.**

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After an all night session, the House passed a budget that cuts $183.2 million from K-12 and $270.8 million from universities and community colleges for a total of $454 million in cuts to education in Arizona. The budget was a compromise negotiated among Governor Brewer, the House and Senate.  While the Governor promised to hold education cuts to levels proposed in her budget, cuts to education were increased.

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In addition, the House passed SB1614, which effectively cuts teacher salaries by requiring teachers to pay more into their pension plans.  Previously, the teachers and districts split those payments  50/50.  Now , teachers must pay 53 percent. District savings will be offset by a reduction in the aid received by the district – amounting to additional cuts by the state.

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The House plan is expected to go the Senate today for quick approval, according to the Arizona Republic.

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The legislative action began late yesterday afternoon. Originally scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., the House Appropriations Committee meeting did not begin until around 3:30 p.m.  None of the thirteen amended budget bills was published for public review until roughly an hour before the meeting began, leaving very little time for minority party members and interested stakeholders to alert their constituencies as to the various changes.

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The House Appropriations meeting lasted a little over seven hours. Many of the same organizations and agencies who had banded together last year to support Proposition 100 —the temporary 1-cent sales tax increase to protect public education — spoke Thursday night against the cuts they thought Proposition 100 would spare.

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After House Appropriations passed the legislation, it  went on to the full House, which approved the measures before adjourning at 8 a.m. this morning.

According to the JLBC Summary of the Budget Proposals, the $183 million cut from our state’s public K-12 schools approved last night is $68.1 million less than the Senate’s original proposal, but it is an $87.4  million increase from Governor Brewer’s proposed cut.

The JLBC summary also reports that the budget compromise will cut $198 million from our universities—$37 million less than the Senate’s proposed $235 million, but $28 million more than the governor’s proposal.  The $72 million in cuts to community colleges remain the same.

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How did YOUR legislator vote?
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SB1612–FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Bill:  House vote detail here.  Senate vote detail here.
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SB1614–State Budget Procedures (teacher pension contribution split): House vote detail here.  Senate; vote detail here.
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SB1617–FY 2011-2012 K-12 Budget Reconciliation Bill:  House vote detail here.  Senate vote detail here.
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SB1618–FY 2011-2012 Higher Education Budget Reconciliation Bill:  House vote detail here.  Senate vote detail here.
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Related news and articles:
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Joint Legislative Budget Council’s Summary of Budget Proposal, 3/31/11
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Another AEN Adventure in Live-Blogging: AZ House begins work on budget,  AEN Blog Team, 3/31-4/1/2011
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Arizona House moves forward with compromise budget, Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, 4/1/11

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