PHOENIX — An agreement between Republican leaders in the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey on a $9.8 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1 includes cash allowing the state’s three universities to make payments on a $1 billion bonding program and a bigger pay raise for K-12 teachers than Ducey originally proposed.
But the agreement in legislation introduced Tuesday still faces opposition from some majority Republicans who oppose the university bonding and who could delay passage, unless some Democrats decide to support it.
The agreement uses general fund cash for university bonding instead of sales taxes, a key sticking point for many lawmakers. It also includes $30 million in highway funding for cities and counties that was not included in the Republican governor’s plan and is a key issue for rural lawmakers from both parties.
For K-12 schools, most of the $114 million in new education spending the Republican governor wanted is included, plus an extra $100 million over two years for new school construction that Ducey did not seek. A planned 2 percent teacher raise over five years has been increased to 2 percent over two years. For an average teacher, that would be about $1,000 more a year.