/ Modified apr 28, 2017 5:30 p.m.

University-Funding Solution Elusive; AZ House Speaker Wants 'Thoughtful' Resolution

Increased funding for state universities continues to hold up the process.

AZ State Executive tower HERO Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower

More dollars for Arizona’s three universities would be a good thing. How to find that money is what has legislative budget writers and Gov. Doug Ducey at loggerheads.

Ducey wants the Legislature to approve a borrowing plan that could give the universities $1-$2.5 billion over thirty years. That money would go to overdue building maintenance, new construction and research.

State lawmakers haven’t like that idea since Ducey proposed it in January. They do like the idea of more money for higher education.

“Right now, I would characterize it as we are all brainstorming with as wide an array of possible scenarios as we can,” said House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler.

Mesnard said he wants a quick resolution to the budget but at the same time he wants the university funding solution to be thoughtful.

Once the university funding is solved, the rest of the budget should quickly fall into place.

Mesnard says there are 40-50 votes left to take care of in the House. After that, he said he is willing to let representatives go home and return for a budget vote if nothing is worked out in the coming days.

MORE: Legislature, News
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