The people of Arizona do not want to turn our state into the next California. But just a few weeks into her reign as governor, Katie Hobbs has made it clear—that’s exactly what she intends to do. Last week, Hobbs released her first budget plan, and it’s nothing more than a liberal wish list of big spending, extreme proposals, and corporate welfare designed to reward her special interest friends.
Her first target is education, and she wasted no time going after Arizona’s expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs). Yes, the program that is so popular that it overwhelmed the Department of Education’s website immediately after launch—the one that even some Democrats have openly supported. Despite being a private schooler herself, Hobbs wants to dismantle school choice for all with a full repeal of universal ESAs. And that’s just the start.
While seeking to prohibit minority children and low-income families from choosing their K-12 school, Hobbs also wants to use your tax dollars to subsidize college tuition for illegal immigrants. On the heels of the narrow passage of Prop 308 in this November’s election, Hobbs proposed a budget of $40 million to establish a new tuition scholarship program for Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) eligible students. This means that, using your taxpayer dollars, illegal immigrants will now be paying less for college than in-state students! (But hey, at least we have Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Oh wait…that turned out to be the complete failure we predicted it would be.)
In addition to her focus on public education spending, Hobbs’ plan contains a massive expansion of government-funded health care. It includes $463.5 million and $115.8 million in federal fund expenditure authority to utilize year three of federal funding given directly to AHCCCS and the Department of Economic Security respectively. It sets aside $257 million for AHCCCS program caseload growth and the unwinding of federal COVID-19 policies. And consistent with her view that no laws limiting abortion should exist, Hobbs put $6 million toward “family planning services.” But that’s not all.
No liberal budget is complete without bowing down at the altar of AOC’s Green New Deal. So, of course, Hobbs pledged $15 million to install more electric vehicle charging stations despite evidence that debunks their so-called “green” benefits. And along with a myriad of other “green” transit projects, she proposed using $7.5 million toward an interstate commuter rail in Phoenix. That seems like it would go well with another decision in her budget—to eliminate Arizona’s border strike force. Illegal immigration is at an all-time high, and our state has seen a stark increase in the amount of illegal immigrants apprehended with one or more prior criminal convictions. But Hobbs wants to turn a blind eye to the problem while providing illegal immigrants with easier access to Phoenix through a commuter rail. What could go wrong?
We are at a crucial moment in our state, and now is not the time to waver or give in. The Decline to Sign movement to defend school choice showed us that when we fight back, we can win. Now, Republicans need to stand united against Katie Hobbs’ radical budget. Otherwise, she’ll get her ultimate wish—that Arizona resembles our neighbors to the west.
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