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The Latest: Ducey gets $1B rainy-day fund balance in budget

Posted at 9:26 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 00:28:38-04

PHOENIX (AP) - Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will get the $1 billion rainy-day fund balance he wants, schools will see an accelerated schedule for restoring program cuts and taxpayers will get more than $325 million in tax breaks under a budget deal he worked out with GOP legislative leaders.

The now-$11.9 billion package for the budget year that begins July 1 became public Monday but faces pushback from minority Democrats. They oppose tax cuts until funding to schools and social programs is restored to pre-recession levels. It also remains unclear if Republicans have the votes they need to pass the deal without major changes.

The $542 million deposit into the state's reserve fund was a key demand of Ducey. He came into office in 2015 facing a $1 billion deficit and wants a like amount in the bank in case of a recession.

Details of a budget deal Republican legislative leaders reached with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey are expected to become public once rank-and-file members are briefed.

Senate President Karen Fann says four days of negotiations led to the deal that she and House Speaker Rusty Bowers will present to majority Republicans Monday morning. Bowers also confirmed the agreement.

Both on Sunday declined to provide details before briefing their members, who could ask for changes. Bowers and Fann said last week they hoped to introduce budget legislation Monday.

Minority Democrats weren't involved in the negotiations.

The governor proposed an $11.4 billion spending plan in January that mainly devotes a $1 billion surplus to state reserves and education funding.