On January 15, the Arizona Association of REALTORS® held their annual REALTOR® Day at the Capitol. This year more than 200 REALTORS® from across the state gathered to learn and participate in the legislative process.
During the morning session, members of the association had the opportunity to become educated on the most current and important issues facing Arizona's real estate industry at the legislature. The morning session also offered a presentation from Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of REALTORS®, on the economic forecast of our nation and the State of Arizona.
The event also featured the association's annual recognition of the Arizona Association of REALTORS® Public Policy Champion Awards. These awards are determined by the legislator's voting record and diligent work on REALTOR® issues. Awards were presented to Representative Jeff Dial (Legislative District 18), Representative Bruce Wheeler (Legislative District 10), Senator Linda Lopez (Legislative District 2) and Senator Steve Yarbrough (Legislative District 17). Additionally, the lunch hour provided REALTORS® with the opportunity to meet with their legislators and voice their support or opposition for public policy that could either be helpful or harmful to the industry.
It is important to remember that decisions are made every day that affect the real estate industry at the legislature. Opportunities such as REALTOR® Day at the Capitol serve as an excellent opportunity for members to make our voice heard. Nothing can impact our industry more than a unified effort working to impact legislation. The Arizona Association of REALTORS® would like to thank every REALTOR®, legislator, and elected official who attended and contributed to the success of this year's Day at the Capitol.
Governor's Budget Proposal
Last week, Governor Jan Brewer unveiled her $8.9 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2014, which includes $317 million in new spending. As anticipated, the majority of the proposed new spending is for K-12, including $110 million in ongoing spending and $61.5 million in one-time expenditures. During Governor Brewer's State of the State speech, she spoke about a "performance funding plan." This plan is expected to cost $54.3 million in fiscal year 2014, to be comprised of $36.2 million in new general fund money and $18.1 million in funding reallocated from other sources and will be allocated based on two sets of criteria. First, schools will be provided "achievement funding" based on letter grades with any school with a C grade or higher receiving funding. Second, schools will be rewarded for increasing their level of performance. Additionally, the governor is asking for $40 million in one-time funding for equipment and other costs to assist K-12 schools implement the new Common Core State Standards.
Other notable components of the governor's budget include:
·$20 million to universities for soft capital. Colleges outside of Maricopa and Pima counties will receive an additional $3.3 million.
·$65.7 million for child safety, to include an immediate $4.4 million to hire 50 new CPS caseworkers and $18 million to hire 150 more in fiscal year 2014.
·$49 million for emergency residential placement; CPS childcare and foster placement.
·Counties with populations under 200,000 will receive $5.5 million in assistance, which will be redirected from the state's lottery fund.
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