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home : latest news : state May 24, 2016

4/10/2014 6:00:00 AM
Money for Mohave County contained in state budget
Proposal awaits governor's decision
Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City
Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City

Matt Reinig
Miner reporter

KINGMAN - Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, said there is roughly a combined $7.2 million Kingman and Mohave County can expect to see if Gov. Jan Brewer approves the state budget.

The Arizona Legislature agreed in the tentative budget to pay $1.3 million in increased medical payments that Mohave County previously paid, according to Ward.

Area forests could also see $1.7 million in maintenance and wildfire prevention funding, she said.

"I understand there's a fire in Kingman right now," Ward said Tuesday afternoon. "Those things we're trying to avoid."

Mohave Community College is also among the county recipients of $4.2 million in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math funding, or STEM.

There may be additional funds on the way that are not yet determined, Ward said, adding that she asked for a breakdown from Phoenix, but figures are not yet available on a county-by-county level.

There is known progress on the Highway User Revenue Fund front, though, said Ward.

"I consider this the beginning of a full restoration of our HURF funds, especially for the rural areas," Ward said, adding that the funds will be replenished gradually. "This is a good start. Rep. Sonny Borrelli and I are going to fight fiercely for full restoration of that money, but we have to be realistic at the same time.

"We won't get it in one swoop."

Although the budget represents the aftermath of three contentious weeks between the state House and Senate, with veto threats from the governor's office, the process went relatively smoothly this year in comparison to last, Ward said.

"I think the Senate's budget was definitively the most conservative, and with the least amount of extra spending," she said. "It's very good. I'm very excited about that."

Facing severe budget cuts if not eliminated funding outright over next year, districts and charter schools will collect an estimated $295 per student for the 2014-2015 school year for teacher base pay, performance pay and classroom spending generated through a six-tenths of a cent sales tax passed by voters in 2000, according to the Arizona State School Board.

House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-District 28, who represented the House Democrats in the budget conference committees, stated in a release he thinks the budget awaiting Brewer's signature is "disappointing" and "shortsighted."

"Earlier this year, Arizona House Democrats proposed a balanced budget that would have funded public K-12 schools and higher education," Meyer stated. "Their budgets have been slashed by $3 billion since 2008. ... The current budget bows to extremists by not funding Common Core implementation. These standards are in place to prepare our students for college and for the workforce.

"It also lacks adequate funding for universities, further jeopardizing our students' ability to compete in the global economy."

Despite being one of Brewer's executive budget priorities, portions of the recently expanded Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," were trimmed from the budget.

Among Medicaid services removed were adult emergency dental care, foot treatment, surgery, and sole inserts, and treatment of the spine and neuro-skeletal system, a copy of the budget shows.

The only portion of the expansion approved in the tentative budget was insulin pumps, which got an allocated $180,000, the tentative budget shows.

Upon presentation, Brewer has five days to sign the $9.2 billion budget into law, veto it entirely, line-item veto individual appropriations, or allow the budget to become law without a signature, according to this year's executive budget summary.

"I think the signs are looking good," Ward said, regarding the likelihood Brewer will pass the budget.

"The signs point to a positive outcome on that."

The state Legislature may also, with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate, override a veto or line-item veto, the summary shows.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Article comment by: frank flynn

Sonny going to fifth fiercely WOW

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

Ward does whatever Biggs tells her to do. The Senate budget was done behind closed doors, trotted out with minimal public input, with a take it or leave it attitude. Big deal, HURF money that should never have been diverted is put back. Meanwhile Ward constantly gives away revenue to special interest and then claims there is no money. 2/3 vote needed to get revenue back, closed door, simple majority to give private school subsidies. Ask Ward
About State Park money diverted from Lake Havasu.

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014
Article comment by: Spending Spree

The BOS loves this. More money for their family and friends.

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Poor Ms ward, still playing Senator on Facebook without the barest of knowledge as to what the Senate actually does. Can't wait to get rid of this waste of air, space and tax dollars.

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Article comment by: Laughing all the way to the republican paper

ROTFLMAO Ward has diddly to do with the budget. Its a given and standard rules apply.

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