chavezRead below the editorial that was released supporting Governor Doug Ducey’s proposal for a dedicated funding source for DPS.

Governor Ducey’s Budget Proposal – Good for Public Safety

 

On Friday, January 16th, Governor Doug Ducey released his Executive Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2016. During his State of the State speech on the previous Monday, Governor Ducey alluded to the fact his budget proposal would protect public safety and education. As a citizen and public safety employee, this was certainly welcome news considering the Department of Public Safety has been subject to stagnating, and even in some cases reduced budgets, over the past six fiscal years.

 

Governor Ducey’s proposal would include redirecting existing vehicle registration fee, currently at $8 per vehicle, to the state highway patrol fund. Additionally his proposal would allow the Director of the Department of Transportation to increase the vehicle registration fee to $15. This small increase would provide a dedicated funding source for highway patrol activities throughout the state.

 

The main purpose of this part of Governor Ducey’s plan, is to not only create a dedicated funding stream for public safety, but also to relieve pressure from recent shifts in the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF); shifts the legislature created in order to maintain adequate funding to DPS during budget cuts to the state’s General Fund.

 

Over the past several years, the legislature has “shifted” as much as $120 million per fiscal year to DPS in order to adequately fund statewide public safety activities. This took money from HURF recipients; cities and counties who rely on HURF funding for transportation infrastructure needs. We all know the importance of adequate infrastructure to support Arizona’s growth.  With that comes the need to have adequate staffing within DPS to patrol the highways and provide law enforcement services statewide. Restoring HURF monies would provide much needed funding to cities and counties for transportation infrastructure needs.

 

Governor Ducey’s plan makes sense. Instituting a small increase in the vehicle registration fee would provide a long term, positive impact on public safety funding. The Arizona Highway Patrol Association believes Governor Ducey’s plan for setting up a dedicated funding source for patrol functions within DPS is a key to the long term success of the agency, and the citizens of Arizona. For a state police agency that consumes less than 5% of the state’s budget, adequate funding to maintain proper public safety services for the citizens of Arizona is paramount. Governor Ducey understands this.

 

Jimmy Chavez, President

Arizona Highway Patrol Association

The Arizona Daily Wildcats – Legislature to blame for potholes – February 24, 2015

East Valley Tribune – February 23, 2015

Daily Miner – February 22, 2015

TucsonSentinel.com & Sonoran News – Got potholes? February 21, 2015

YourWestValley.com – February 17, 2015

Green Valley News & Sahuarita Sun – February 14, 2015

Arizona Republic – February 13, 2015

Nogales International News-February 13, 2015

Scottsdale Independent – February 11, 2015

 

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