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. In his budget proposal, Governor Ducey not only keeps the agency funded, his plan is to implement the suggestion the AHPA proposed to legislative leaders for the past three years: a dedicated funding stream to protect agency funding in the future.
The following is a summary of the Executive Budget Proposal (numbers are represented in thousands):
As you can see from the information above, the proposed budget for the agency is slightly higher than the current budget.
One interesting point to the Governor’s proposal is the reduction of the agency’s reliance on HURF and General Fund appropriations. For FY16, this reduction equates a total of $65 million. In order to make up for this reduction, Governor Ducey is proposing “dedicating the motor vehicle registration fee permanently to the support of highway law enforcement operations and depositing the monies in the Arizona Highway Patrol Fund.” Governor Ducey is proposing allowing the Director of ADOT to increase the vehicle registration fee to $15, which would generate $65 million into the Arizona Highway Patrol Fund.
This proposal, if successful, would put to work a plan that AHPA has been proposing for the past 3+ years with the previous Governor’s administration and legislators as well as with Governor Ducey during the election; establishing a dedicating funding source to ease the agency’s reliance on General Fund and HURF appropriations and at the same time, financially protecting the agency in the future.
This is certainly a good start and the AHPA will be working diligently with the Governor’s Staff and legislative leaders as budget negotiations progress throughout the legislative session. Additionally, the AHPA will continue to stress the need to increase pay plan for DPS employees.
You can read the press release from Governor Ducey as well as the Executive Budget Documents here: