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AZ lawmakers introduce bills to raise school spending cap

March 1 deadline to raise cap
Posted at 9:55 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 23:55:33-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Lawmakers in Arizona's Senate and House of Representatives have introduced bills that would raise the current spending cap for public schools.

All told, district budgets were approved for more than $1 billion more than the aggregate expenditure limit. That is the total amount all districts in the state are allowed to spend combined.

KGUN 9 has reported before that schools would face major budget shortfalls if that limit isn't raised. Read more about that here.

School officials have said the way to avoid those budget shortfalls is action by the legislature to raise the aggregate expenditure limit to allow districts to spend the money they already had budgeted.

When we spoke to Tucson Democrat Morgan Abraham last week he was not confident it would happen by the March 1 deadline.

“For me, it’s just like: Let’s keep our children in school,” he said. “Let’s keep the train on the tracks.”

Abraham told us he thinks this is a political move on the part of his republican colleagues at the state capitol. He goes further in detail about his thoughts in this previous coverage.

The senate bill that would raise the aggregate expenditure limit was introduce by Republican Karen Fann and Democrat Rebecca Rios.

Likewise, the house bill was introduced by a bipartisan pair in Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers and Democrat Reginald Bolding.

Either bill would need to pass committee, in both houses of the legislature, and get a signature from the Governor before the limit would be raised.