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AEA Budget Watch

We will post updates on this page and AEA Facebook and Twitter.

AEA Summary of K-12 Fiscal Year 2019-20 House Budget Bills.

Update 5/28 The Arizona Legislature ended the 2019 legislative session early this morning. The House budget was passed by the Senate yesterday and is on its way to Governor Ducey. At a time when our state had a $1 billion surplus, our lawmakers had an opportunity to restore school funding. Instead, they chose to further cut state revenue by enacting nearly $400 million tax cuts. Instead of providing equity and opportunity for all students, they chose to raise the stakes of standardized testing and increase the opportunity gap by putting $70 million into results-based funding. Thank you to the Democrats who introduced amendments to fully restore school capital funding, and provide raises to all school employees, including support staff and those left out of the Governor's narrow definition of "teacher." Unfortunately, the majority party voted down all amendments to provide these raises and continued their attack on educators by passing language from Representative Townsend's #REDforED retaliation bill. 

Over 200 AEA members and education supporters spent their Memorial Day holiday at the Capitol. Thanks to the hundreds of educators who took part in AEA Budget Watch for the past two weeks, we held legislators accountable to their campaign promises and clawed back some of the funds that had been cut during the recession. This legislative session has demonstrated that our elected officials are out of touch with the needs of our students and the will of their constituents. As educators, our students are our number one priority and we will do what it takes to ensure they have the great public schools they deserve.

Update 5/25 5:42PM Senate has adjourned until Monday at 11AM. No movement on budget bills. House Appropriations meets Monday at 10AM. Continue to keep the pressure on Governor Ducey and your legislators, enjoy the rest of your weekend and see you all on Monday!

Update 5/25 4:35PM  All day today #RedForEd activists have been filling the Senate gallery. There are educators here all the way from Vail, Payson, Marana, Tucson, and all over the state. Still no movement on budget bills in Senate. House is adjourned until Monday.

Update 5/25 12:30PM No Update. Senate still hasn't heard budget bills. Thanks for hanging in there with us!

Update 5/25 7AM House Appropriations meeting rescheduled to Monday (Memorial Day) at 10AM. House is adjourned until Monday. Senate will resume today, Saturday, at 10AM.

The House Republicans were able to keep together all 31 in their caucus and push out their budget this morning. During COW, the Republicans defeated all proposed Democrat amendments. Rep. Jennifer Pawlik moved the restoration of District Additional Assistance as well as funding to provide all Education Support Professionals a pay raise. Both amendments were defeated.

Speaker Bowers offered amendments that were the “buy off” of certain Republican legislators to get their vote on the budget bills, including Rep. Townsend's #REDforED retaliation bill. This language is in the main budget bill (feed bill—HB2747). It now requires that the Attorney General provide a copy of any complaint alleging a violation of 15-511 to the Governor, House Speaker, and Senate President within 10 days of receipt of the complaint. As you know, this is the statute that prohibits school resources to influence the outcome of an election. The concern is that this new language is not clearly written, vague, and could be left up to interpretation. This could lead to an abuse of the reporting process for false accusations by allowing anyone to fille unsubstantiated complaints, and the complaint would be subject to public records request.

The Senate is adjourned until 10am (Saturday). The Senate has made no movement on the budget thus far. Unless something happens in the morning, they still don’t have the votes in the Senate with the Republicans.  

If the Senate does move budget bills on Saturday, they will end up different than the budget just passed by the House (in order to get Senate Republican member hold outs to vote for the budget). This means the House bills would be amended over on the Senate side (or the Senate could choose to continue to move their own version of the budget bills). Once out of the Senate, the bills would need to be re-voted in the House since they were amended.

Update 5/24 9:30PM Senate has adjourned until Saturday, 5/25, 10AM. Likely they still don't have enough votes to pass the budget. House is still debating budget bills in COW. Currently on budget bill to enact $386 million in new permanent tax cuts, then move on to k-12 education budget bill. Democrats have attempted several amendments, which have all been voted down by the majority party. Will be another long night. Keep the pressure on Governor Ducey and your legislators.

Update 5/24 2:11PM House resumed at 1:30 and then recessed again until 3PM. Will head to Rules Committee and then Caucus. House Appropriations committee hearing HB2760 on Saturday, 5/25, at 10AM. Senate still recessed.

Update 5/24 12:20PM House Appropriations Committee has a meeting scheduled for Saturday, 5/25 10AM, so this will definitely go into the weekend now. Maybe Sine Die on Monday.

Update 5/24 12:14PM Senate in COW, not debating budget bills. Budget bills not schedule on any Senate calendars, yet.

Update 5/24 12PM: House is recessed until 1:30PM

Update 5/24 11AM: House and Senate are in session. Neither have heard any additional budget bills. Back-door deals are still being done, so it's hard to know what to expect or how long this can go on. As educators, the choice is clear: The state has the money to fully fund our schools and our students should be the priority over tax cuts.

Update 5/24 2:16AM: House recessed until 10AM. House passed some budget bills, but did not put up any of the education budget bills for debate. Both House and Senate reconvene at 10AM, Friday, 5/24.

Update 5/23 6:07PM: House is recessed until 9PM. AEA members are invited to join legislators in room 340 (3rd floor in the AZ House) for pizza during this recess. When House returns they will debate the budget bills, then go to final vote. You can watch online when they return at 9PM.

Update 5/23 4:11PM: The House and Senate have both taken the budget bills to Rules and Caucus. The House is now on the floor final reading some non-budget related bills. It is still unknown if the House can produce all 31 Republican votes to get the budget out tonight. If they do make a move on the budget, they will need to go to Committee of the Whole – COW – for floor debate and amendment offering. The budget would then not be able to be voted until 12:01am Friday morning, so could be a really long night ahead. The Senate doesn't appear to have the votes right now and have adjourned until 10AM tomorrow, 5/24. 

Update 5/22 9:44PM: Tomorrow is the 130th Day of Session!

The Senate is scheduled to reconvene on the Floor at 10AM. They will likely announce Senate Rules and Caucus before moving back to the Floor to move the budget bills. However, it is very unclear if they have the votes to pass the proposed budget bills.

Over in the House, they are scheduled to reconvene at 8AM for schedule announcements. We understand they will also move through Rules and Caucus before reconvening on the Floor at 11AM. The House forgot to second read the budget bills today, which means they have to third read (cast final vote) on the budget bills AFTER 12:01AM Friday, 5/24! That means tomorrow will be a very long day. Please join us when you can and plan and prepare accordingly.

Update 5/22 8PM: The budget bills passed in both the Senate and House Appropriations committees after a day-long session. Today was the only day public input could be heard on these bills. Thank you to the many educators and retired educators who came down to the Capitol to fill the committee rooms and who testified on behalf of their students and profession! Also, thank you to House Democrats for their attempt to amend the bills in committee, including an amendment to fully restore District Additional Assistance, which funds school capital needs.

It is disappointing that legislative leadership and Governor Ducey are willing to reduce state revenues with new permanent tax cuts totalling $386 million, yet refuse to restore the $1 billion in education funding our students need. In addition, their budget adds $30 million to results-based funding, already at funded at $40 million, which further divides the haves and have nots among our students. This money would be better put to use providing raises to all teachers and support staff, who are once again left out of the state budget. Read AEA's summary of budget bills.

Next, the bills will head to caucus, then Committee of the Whole (COW) where amendments from legislators can be offered again, and then final vote on the floor. House returns at 8AM tomorrow and Senate returns at 10AM. Contact Governor Ducey and your legislators. Joins us in the House and Senate galleries tomorrow; we're expecting another long day.

This will not be our only chance to fund schools. Our elected leaders are not listening to us, so we cannot leave the responsibility of our students' future up to them. It will be up to educators, parents, activists, and voters to ensure our students get the great public schools they deserve.

Update 5/22 1:22PM: House Appropriations still going on. Senate Appropriations supposed to start at 11:30AM, but still delayed. We need you to contact legislators and then bring five friends to come after school to pack these committees. This is last opportunity for public input on state budget!

Watch Senate Appropriations

Watch House Appropriations

Update 5/22 10:23AM: House Appropriations committee has started and will last all day, possible evening. The room is packed, with overflow in hearing rooms 3&4. Watch online.

Update 5/21 8:07PM: Attend AEA legislative briefing at 9AM in AZ Historic Supreme Court Room at state capitol. At 9:30AM head over to AZ House to give us enough time to get through security to attend House Appropriations Committee meeting starting at 10AM.

Update 5/21 7:30PM: Plan to go to Appropriations Committee meeting in Arizona House of Representatives, Hearing Room 1, Wednesday, 5/22, 10AM.

Update 5/21 5:45PM: In addition, Representative Townsend has managed to, once again, ressurect her bill attacking teachers' free speech. Senate Rules is introducing the budget bills and added HB2032 on the agenda tonight! AEA is opposed to HB2032 and we urge you to contact legislators asking them to oppose this #REDforED retaliation bill.

Update 5/21 5:30PM: By the afternoon it looked like legislators had not made any movement on budget negotiations. Then around 4:30, budget bills dropped and will likely be first read this evening. House Appropriations is scheduled for 10AM tomorrow and Senate floor for 9AM. The House committee (and Senate when it is scheduled) is the only opportunity the public will have to provide comment on the state budget. Our students deserve great public schools, and that means restoring the $1 billion necessary to: Keep great teachers in the classroom and great support staff in our schools; provide updated technology and textbooks; and repair broken school buildings. Contact Governor Ducey and your legislators. Join us at the Capitol tomorrow. 

Update 5/20 5:00PM: We are meeting at 9:30AM, Tuesday, 5/21, in AZ House of Representatives, Room 340 on 3rd floor.

UPDATE 5/20 3:45PM: Senate recessed. House adjourned for day, returning to floor 5/21 at 10AM. Budget deal between Governor Ducey and legislative leadership leaked to press. We will post analysis, but there is $386 million new permanent tax cuts in the deal which could go to funding the public education our students deserve!

UPDATE 5/20 2PM: We are in the Senate Gallery now until they adjourn today. Majority party leadership is still finalizing details and whipping votes for their budget bills. They have suspended rules today and added a legislator to Senate Appropriations Committee. This is an example of legislative leadership changing the rules in order to get their budget passed. We expect committee hearings and budget bills potentially Tuesday and/or Wednesday and final vote on Thursday. All information is subject to change. We will update this page as we get new info.

Below are some more ways to take action on the budget:

  1. Email Governor Ducey
  2. Email your legislators
  3. Organize or participate in a walk in to your school or work sitestandout in your community, or a gallery sit in at the state capitol.
  4. Share or distribute Budget Watch flyerEspañol
  5. Toolkit to spread word.

We encourage you to schedule appointments with your legislators to discuss AEA Budget Priorities. Talking points:

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