Republican leaders in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature have released separate proposed budgets for fiscal 2010, but both fall short of a balanced plan. The proposals are preliminary, lawmakers said, and could change before a final budget is considered.
The House proposal includes a $465 million shortfall, while the Senate version has $313 million gap.
The current projected budget revenue shortfall in fiscal 2010 is almost $2.9 billion.
Neither chamber’s proposal calls for new or higher taxes.
“We are working hard to solve the problem and I am optimistic we can close this gap without increasing taxes,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray, R-Mesa.
Both budgets use the state’s $1.3 billion in federal stimulus money to make up most of the shortfall, with the bulk of it going to Medicaid. Lawmakers also propose across-the-board cuts in state agency spending and the recapture of appropriated but unspent allocations from fiscal 2009.
The Senate plan would cut agency spending by $842 million, or 8.3%, from 2009 appropriations. The House budget cuts $739 million, or 7.3%, from the agency budgets.
Gov. Jan Brewer’s executive budget is expected to be released next week.
In accordance with her order, state agencies have prepared proposals showing the effect on their operations of budget cuts ranging from 5% to 20%.