Hobbs defends budget negotiations amid criticism from some Democrats
The budget process and end result — a $17.8 billion spending agreement reached by Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs and Republican leaders — left some legislative Democrats frustrated with their new governor.
A key lament for Democrats was the lack of any cap or delay in the growth of Arizona’s universal school voucher program. But the dissatisfaction was broader — minority leaders in the House and Senate say Hobbs left their party out of negotiations until a detailed budget plan had already been negotiated with GOP leadership in each chamber.
Hobbs disputed that on Monday, speaking with reporters at a press conference touting the $150 million deposit from the budget into the state’s Housing Trust Fund.
“We’ve been having conversations with Democrats about the budget since early in session,” Hobbs said.
“This is not a perfect budget,” the governor added. “I didn't get everything I wanted. Republicans didn't get everything they wanted. It's a compromise budget that we negotiated that got through the Legislature with a super majority of votes.”