Arizona faces $1 billion-plus deficit over two years. Here’s what Gov. Hobbs wants to cut

Facing a $1 billion-plus budget deficit over two years, Gov. Katie Hobbs has some ideas on what items to cut to balance the budget, as required by the state constitution.

Six pages of ideas, to be precise, leaning heavily on transportation projects and one-time funding that looked promising just eight months ago.

Many of these “clawbacks” are projects that lawmakers last spring designated when they were given a piece of the $2.5 billion state surplus to allocate.

Others are fund transfers, moving money that was dedicated to certain projects into the general purpose fund to offset spending.

Spending plan unveiled: Arizona’s deficit forecast grows to $1.7 billion as Gov. Katie Hobbs proposes new budget

In all, Hobbs proposes cutting $419 million in transportation projects that have not yet been started, and a total of about $1 billion when other projects and transfers are added. The cuts include:

  • $10 million for arts and music supplies.

  • $25 million for an overpass at the intersection of State Route 347 and Riggs Road in the southeast Valley.

  • $61 million to widen Interstate 10 between State Route 85 and Citrus Road, including a lighted median.

  • $5 million for an interchange design on Interstate 10 at Jackrabbit Trail.

  • $10.5 million to repave State Route 60 between Morristown and Wickenburg.

  • $320,000 to renovate the Flagstaff aviation hanger.

  • $650,000 for a program that trains inmates in dog handling.

She also is hoping to hit the eject button on two high-profile projects funded last year that have led to controversy.

One dedicated $850,000 to a Sun City transportation study, money that was already facing scrutiny as it appeared headed to a company run by a man with a troubled financial history who said he would use the money to pay off a court judgment.

Another one on the chopping block is $15.3 million for the Prescott Frontier Days rodeo, which led to a lawsuit and became the poster child for critics of lawmakers’ plan last year to split up the surplus in favor of funding pet projects.

Reach reporter Stacey Barchenger at [email protected] or 480-416-5669. Reach the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-228-7566 and follow her on Threads as well as on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, @maryjpitzl.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Here’s what Hobbs wants to cut to balance AZ’s $1 billion-plus deficit

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