“In total, we’ve pumped $4.5 billion in new investments into Arizona schools. With our latest budget, that figure will rise to $6.6 billion,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “And we’ve done all of this without raising taxes.” (Photo by Anya Magnuson/Cronkite News)
Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund bolstered to record $1 billion
Following an investment of $542 million at the beginning of the fiscal year, Arizona’s Budget Stabilization Fund, more commonly known as the “Rainy Day Fund,” reached a record-high $1 billion. The fund now sits at $1.014 billion, as confirmed by the Arizona Treasurer’s Office, or 9.2 percent of General Fund revenues. The deposit makes good on Governor Ducey’s commitment to boosting the fund to better prepare Arizona in the event of an economic downturn.
“From a $1 billion deficit to $1 billion in our Rainy Day Fund, Arizona has never been better prepared for our future,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “By saving these dollars, Arizona is better equipped to protect our growing investments in areas like K-12 public education, public safety and child safety while avoiding the budget gimmicks and band-aids of the past. I’m grateful to all our legislators and people around the state who helped make this historic investment possible.”
A year ago, Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund balance stood at $457.8 million, or 4.5 percent of General Fund revenues. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, that put Arizona in the bottom half of states and even less prepared for an economic downtown than before the Great Recession — a time when state leaders were faced with a more than $2 billion budget deficit.
The $542 million Rainy Day Fund investment in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget comes in addition to significant investments in the areas that matter, including:
• $660 million new dollars for K-12 public schools;
• $225 million for upgrading roads and bridges across the state;
• $71 million to provide pay raises to State Troopers, Correctional Officers, child safety caseworkers and other public safety personnel;
• $11 million to fund 48 State Troopers for key public safety missions across the state;
• $56 million to expand childcare subsidies for low-income families;
• And $1.6 million to preserve access to health care for over 6,000 Arizona kids.
For a full list of investments in Arizona’s FY 2020 budget, click HERE.