Journalists’ Roundtable: Arizona state budget, AG lawsuit & more

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another edition of the Journalists’ Roundtable. To discuss this week’s topics, we were joined by Camryn Sanchez of KJZZ, Mary Jo Pitzl of The Arizona Republic and Jim Small of the Arizona Mirror.

This week’s topics include:

There were a variety of different factors that affected the state budget according to Small. 

“A lot of spending cuts, a lot of fund transfers, a lot of pulling back money that they committed in previous years budgets. Everything from $300 some million for water infrastructure projects to delaying highway projects that were approved last year to cuts in most state agencies…,” said Small. 

Attorney General Kris Mayes sued budget sweeps. One of these includes the opioid settlement funds which are supposed to be used to stabilize the budget. 

“The budget called for… $75 million to come out of this years budget which expires next week and then another $40 million for each of the next three years so that’s $195 million over four years…they sent it all to the department of corrections arguing that it’s going to be used… we have inmates with opioid problems…,” said Pitzl. 

Governor Hobbs believes that some of the other bills would cause more damage to the water supplies. These five water bills will change the Arizona water laws. 

“The legislature put up a lot of water bills this session…one lawmaker put up at least like 30 and a lot of them had to do with groundwater and some of the more very slight changes but some of them were quite large…There were two main bills. One on rural and one on urban groundwater conservation. One of them died on the last day of session that was the rural and then one of them went up to her desk and got vetoed this week and that was the urban,” said Sanchez. 

Camryn Sanchez, KJZZ
Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic
Jim Small, Arizona Mirror

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