/ Modified jan 16, 2018 9:05 a.m.

Ducey Budget Proposal Includes Money for University Infrastructure

The program puts state money toward a bonding plan lobbied for by Arizona's universities.

University funding signing hero Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, accompanied by Arizona regents, university officials and others, signs a plan to create a borrowing package to fund university maintenance, May 22, 2017. (PHOTO: Office of the governor via Twitter)

Gov. Doug Ducey's 2019 budget proposal allocates $27 million to a bonding program for infrastructure improvements at the state's three public universities, the first part of a spending package that lawmakers approved in 2017.

The plan allocates $27 million dollars to the universities each year; they must match and borrow against that to pay for capital improvements, like repairs to buildings and infrastructure.

The governor's office estimates that would allow the universities to borrow about $1 billion.

Arizona's three public universities had lobbied heavily for the measure, saying that aging infrastructure was a major risk for growth.

Arizona Board of Regents President Eileen Klein issued a statement saying the budget proposal keeps the state's "commitment to long-term capital investment so we can continue to serve the state’s growing population."

Klein applauded the governor for making K-12 education the largest beneficiary of new state dollars in the coming year. His proposal includes $100 million in K-12 school capital funding. Cuts to school capital have been more than $2 billion since 2009, according to the Arizona Republic.

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