Putting a face on Arizona's budget cuts - Tucson News Now

Putting a face on Arizona's budget cuts

By Bud Foster - bio | email

When it comes time to cut budgets, sometimes numbers on a page don't mean very much.

But when you see the faces, the numbers become a reality.

That fact is setting in on Arizona state lawmakers who have cut the state budget by billions. Billions more are yet to come.

The developmentally disabled held a rally downtown Tucson last week bringing attention to their plight.

Many of them will see their programs slashed or done away with altogether. That means for a person confined to a wheelchair, without the mental capacity to function normally or beset by a disease which makes them dysfunctional, the results can be devastating.

It's been a difficult time for Arizona state lawmakers cutting the budget.

"All of us are going to have to do things we're not necessarily comfortable doing," says Vic Williams, a Republican lawmaker from District 26.

"This is a crisis. A true financial crisis," he adds.

Williams voted to cut the Arizona Department of Department of Security budget by $43 million in the waning days of January.

Now the reality is coming due.

"We're tweaking numbers. 7% here. 12% there. Whatever number you want," says Matt Heinz, a first term Democrat from District 29.

"The point is these are humans. They're people. They're your neighbors. And they're in trouble. And I think we think we really need to keep that in mind as we go forward," he adds.

"I think it was a mistake," says District 30 Senator Jonathan Paton.

Paton thinks it was a bad idea to tell DES to cut without giving direction where to cut.

But DES told us today, "These were gut-wrenching decisions for our leadership team. However, as responsible public administrators, we have to manage the programs within the funding appropriated to us."

Williams adds, "from the legislative point of view, we're here to appropriate. I don't want to manage or micro manage DES. They should have the authority to go out to make those decisions because they understand the needs of their constituents, their clients at that level."

The stimulus money, depending on how much it is, will determine what changes are coming in next year's budget.

But the changes made this year, they'll have to live with.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Happening today: job fair for people with disabilities

    Happening today: job fair for people with disabilities

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 9:01 AM EDT2017-10-17 13:01:55 GMT
    Tucson Convention Center. (Source: Tucson News Now)Tucson Convention Center. (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Thousands of people living in Tucson with disabilities, both mental and physical, looking for a job, have a chance to find one on Tuesday, Oct. 17.  The D.R.E.A.M. ( Disability & Rehabilitation Employment Awareness Month) Job Fair is taking place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Tucson Convention Center, located at 260 S. Church Ave. This is the seventh annual D.R.E.A.M Job Fair hosted by nonprofits and government agencies to help people...

    Thousands of people living in Tucson with disabilities, both mental and physical, looking for a job, have a chance to find one on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The D.R.E.A.M. ( Disability & Rehabilitation Employment Awareness Month) Job Fair is taking place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Tucson Convention Center, l

  • breaking

    PCSD: Suspect in officer involved shooting identified, died later at the hospital

    PCSD: Suspect in officer involved shooting identified, died later at the hospital

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 12:39 AM EDT2017-10-17 04:39:25 GMT
    Luis David Flores (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)Luis David Flores (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)

    The Pima County Sheriff's Department responded to a barricade situation on Tucson's west side that turned into an officer-involved shooting.

    The Pima County Sheriff's Department responded to a barricade situation on Tucson's west side that turned into an officer-involved shooting.

  • Veterans Recovery Program to inter 32 veterans at AZ Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery

    Veterans Recovery Program to inter 32 veterans at AZ Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery

    Monday, October 16 2017 11:53 PM EDT2017-10-17 03:53:25 GMT
    (Source: https://dvs.az.gov/arizona-veterans-memorial-cemetery-marana)(Source: https://dvs.az.gov/arizona-veterans-memorial-cemetery-marana)

    The veterans to be interred served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The ceremony will include full military honors, last roll call and more before the veterans are settled in their final resting place. This honors service is open to the public. 

    The veterans to be interred served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The ceremony will include full military honors, last roll call and more before the veterans are settled in their final resting place. This honors service is open to the public. 

Powered by Frankly