What’s In The State Agency Budget Requests?
A few weeks ago we reported on the Department of Economic Security’s budget request. Today we want to provide an overview of other agency budget requests.
Of the nine major agencies, only the Department of Corrections has a higher budget today than what they had in fiscal year 09.
The funding requests for next year include:
- AHCCCS Health Coverage: The request shows a mixture of costs and savings with many transitions happening in health care. Lifting the enrollment freeze for adults without children at home would bring back coverage for about 117,000 people and save the state $36 million in fiscal year 2014 thanks to federal matching funds. AHCCCS will begin to cover children in families with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level, adding 21,000 children at a net state cost of $5 million next year. It is projected that process changes and the economy will lead to 26,600 more people covered through existing AHCCCS programs with a total state cost of $111 million. The budget request does not include the new health care exchange.
- Arizona Department of Education: Restoring state funding for adult education and GED programs and funding a multiyear project to replace the current student data system. No restoration of past cuts to the classroom.
- Universities: Continuing the performance funding formula and the multi-year plan for per-student parity between ASU and NAU.
- Prisons: Start-up costs and partial-year operational costs for the new state prisons and private prisons that the legislature has authorized; additional correctional officers; repairing or replacing buildings at the Yuma prison.
See our summary chart here for the state agency budgets. Although state revenues are slowly recovering from the recession, the loss of the temporary sales tax revenues next year means the budget will again be extremely tight. The legislature’s budget office shows a balanced budget for the next few years only if agency funding remains at its current low levels.