Bowers and Arizona House of Representatives approve bipartisan state budget

Arizona State Capitol Building per state archives: The Arizona House of Representatives has passed a new state budget.

By Jon Johnson 

PHOENIX – Just two days after appearing in Washington D.C. to testify to Congress, Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers and the Arizona House of Representatives approved a new state budget.

In the early hours of Thursday, the House passed the FY 2023 State Budget funding the critical needs and priorities that are important for all Arizonans. House Speaker Rusty Bowers hailed the moment, noting it is the first budget in many years to receive strong bipartisan support.

“I am grateful that such a large majority of House members, Republicans, and Democrats, have had enough wisdom and courage to work together to find answers to the major problems of our state,” said Speaker Bowers. “Reaching bipartisan agreement on taking care of the needs of the people of Arizona shouldn’t be a rare or historic event, as this was. My hope is that this inspires and fosters a renewal of the cooperative spirit that our great state was built upon.”

Budget Highlights

  • $330 Million in Property Tax Relief
  • Over $1.25 Billion for State Debt & Pension Payoff
    • Ongoing Savings of nearly $120 Million
  • Over $1.1 Billion for Protecting Arizona’s Water and Natural Resources
  • Over $1 Billion for Transportation Infrastructure Projects
  • Over $560 Million in Border Security
  • Over $70 Million in School Safety
  • Over $1 Billion in new K-12 Education Investments
    • Over $800 Million in new ongoing K-12 education funding
    • $526 Million in new base-level education funding
    • Over $400 Million in new one-time education funding
  • $425 Million was added to Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund

Bowers had just been in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, where he testified that former President Trump and Trump’s then-attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called him and said the presidential election of 2020 was fraudulent. They asked Bowers to help appoint false electors for Trump even though Joe Biden won the election in the state and nation. Bowers said while Giuliani asked him to break his oath to the Constitution, he would not do so. 

Screengrab from pool video: Arizona Speaker of the House of Representatives Rusty Bowers testifies before Congress. Just two days later, the Arizona Republican was back at the helm of the House, passing the state’s budget. 

“It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired — one of my most basic foundational beliefs. And so, for me to do that just because somebody asked me to is foreign to my very being. I will not do it,” Bowers said to Congress. 

He also added that due to his faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he could not participate in the “Big Lie” conspiracy embraced by Trump. 

“I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to with any contrived desire toward deflection of my deep foundational desire to follow God’s will, as I believe he led my conscience to embrace,” Bowers read to Congress from his personal journal.