Governor Doug Ducey’s office unveils the numbers behind his budget plan Friday. In a nutshell, his 9 billion dollar budget applies 348-point-five million dollars in spending cuts and just over 44-million dollars in new spending for Fiscal Year 2016.

The Governor’s Budget Director,  John Arnold, (pictured) delivering the budget presentation says, after a hiring freeze, spending cuts, fund sweeps and redistributing education dollars, by Fiscal Year 2017, Arizona’s structural debt should be wiped out.

Arnold says, one of the Governor’s cornerstones, the “Classrooms First” initiative, means 134 million dollars in new classroom spending while applying cuts of just over 127-million dollars. But the sacrificial lamb making way for the Governor’s initiative is the Student Success Program. Arizona’s three universities are also slated for a 75-million dollar hit. And a hiring freeze is estimated to save 20-point-seven million dollars in fiscal years ’17 and ’18.

–Barbara Villa

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