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Arizona legislature approves $18 billion dollar budget

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Lawmakers in both the Arizona House and Senate worked through the night to approve the state’s 18-billion dollar bipartisan budget early this morning just before sunrise.

The spending plan will put half a billion dollars in base increase for public education, 544 million dollars to border security, one billion dollars for highway construction, and one billion dollars for water infrastructure as the state faces prolonged drought.

“We voted it out and finished at 4’oclock this morning. There is a lot of good things for the state. We’ve got a billion dollars over the next 3 years going into water infrastructure, trying to bring in new water sources from outside of Arizona, takes the pressure off Yuma," said Arizona State Representative, Tim Dunn.

Democratic Representative Brian Fernandez says he's proud of the funding he was able to get for our area.

“Nobody loves the budget, but I think everyone likes the budget or most everyone likes the budget. There are things in it for everyone and for people in Yuma County, especially young people in Yuma county, it’s going to change, I believe, their lives,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez says some things he put in the budget for Yuma County include five million dollars for NAU Yuma with new bachelors degrees as well as funding to expand Cesar Chavez boulevard from two lanes to five lanes.

Yuma is also receiving 30 million dollars for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, plus additional money to improve Highway 95.

Fernandez says both parties working together was critical to get the budget approved, as well as getting Yuma the funding it needed.

“We worked across party lines, we worked across the isle, I talked to everybody from the far far left to the far far right to get this through,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez says the house and senate are set to sign the approved budget Friday with Ducey expected to sign within the next few days.

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Samantha Byrd

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