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State Legislature Releases State Budget Proposal

LUCHA Warns Lack of Investments Threatens the Livelihoods of Arizonans and Weakens the State’s Economy

For Immediate Release

June 13, 2024

PHOENIX – The State Legislature has released its FY2025 State Budget proposal marking an urgent crossroads for Arizona as it grapples with a $1 billion budget deficit created by rampant tax handouts to wealthy and corporations. While the latest budget proposal avoids major cuts to essential services such as public education, healthcare, and housing, it is not a budget that allows for the public to thrive. Ultimately, a budget is a moral document. This, though, is a budget that largely benefits the wealthy due to decades of tax cuts for the rich, falling short of the bold investments needed for Arizona families to thrive and for our economy to prosper.

Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) believes that Arizona’s long-term prosperity has been undermined by years of budget cuts under Republican leadership and corporate tax handouts, such as the Ducey tax cuts. A recent study published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) shows that Arizona’s tax system has grown significantly more upside-down in the past 5 years, moving Arizona from 27th most regressive in the rankings to 13th on ITEP’s Tax Inequality Index, just ahead of Alabama, the biggest fall of any state. These policies have disproportionately affected our most vulnerable communities and critical services like our public education system, and support programs for affordable housing. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona will lose over $14 billion in revenue by 2028, over 10% of our state’s general fund because of the 2021 tax cuts. These cuts were tilted both toward the wealthy and toward white Arizonans at the expense of everyone else. The Arizona Center for Economic Progress found that only 21% of the tax cut will go to households of color.

That’s why LUCHA is calling on the Legislature to envision a future in which budget negotiations are not a time for cuts, but rather a time to come together to meet the needs of its everyday citizens, which are suffering crisis upon crisis.

Alejandra Gomez, Executive Director of LUCHA, stated, “The tax dollars of Arizona’s working families are being stretched to cover the bare minimum baseline for our schools, roads, and housing because corporations and the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share. For too long, politicians have cut taxes for the rich and special interests at the expense of everyday Arizonans. There must be no higher priority for our Governor and Legislators than to unrig our tax code, repeal ESAs, and balance a budget that has the resources to fund basic necessities and more. It is time to invest in our future and support public education, make sustainable investments in the Housing Trust Fund, and expand paid family and medical leave statewide. We cannot cut our way to prosperity. This is about building a sustainable and equitable future for all Arizonans because our communities deserve better. Without addressing the root causes of revenue shortfalls and tax inequities, Arizona's progress will remain stunted. The solution is right in front of us, and it’s time for action.”

A People First Budget Priorities

LUCHA’s 2024 Legislative Priorities:

  • Protecting Essential Resources: Prioritizing housing, education, and healthcare in the State Budget to ensure safe, healthy, and thriving communities.

  • Addressing the Housing Crisis: Investing in housing assistance and implementing statewide rent stabilization to support families and prevent homelessness.

  • Expanding Paid Family and Medical Leave: Advocating for the Arizona Thriving Families Act (ATFA) to provide comprehensive support for working families.

  • Creating a Fair Tax Code and Raising Revenue: Proposing multi-state corporate tax and corporate tax credit repeals to ensure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.

  • Building an Inclusive Democracy: Introducing automatic voter registration to strengthen democratic participation and ensure every voice is heard.

“Flipping the legislature from Republican control is essential to giving Governor Hobbs the legislative support necessary to provide Arizonans with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive,” said Gina Mendez, LUCHA’s Organizing Director and Campaign Manager. “Electing a legislature committed to investing in public education, affordable housing, healthcare, and fair tax policies will ensure that every Arizonan has the chance to succeed. This November, we have a crucial opportunity to bring about meaningful change and create a brighter future for all Arizona families.”

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