January 13, 2022 (Phoenix) — Tomorrow, Gov. Ducey will release his 2023 budget proposal with a $1 billion one-time surplus and $700 million on-going surplus available for investing in Arizonans. These funds present an opportunity for the governor to invest in services and support to empower disabled Arizonans to reach their full potential.
We are calling on Gov. Ducey to consider the following:
- Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) — Arizona’s infants and toddlers with disabilities should be given every opportunity to thrive. We call on Gov. Ducey to fund AzEIP so that it can pay its providers — the very backbone of the program — full market rate for the early intervention services they provide to young children and their families. Investing in AzEIP should be a priority for Gov. Ducey as a staunch pro-life advocate.
- Ensure stable funding for K-12 district schools — 116,000 students with disabilities attend K-12 public district schools across Arizona. A stable school environment is critical for their academic, social, and emotional well-being. We call on the governor to ensure that the aggregate spending limit is raised to ensure that district schools aren’t forced to cut $1.24 billion from their budgets in just over a month, leading to staff cuts and potential school closures.
- Affordable housing — People with disabilities should have the opportunity to live independently, a near impossibility with Arizona’s affordable housing crisis. We call on Gov. Ducey to restore the state’s Housing Trust Fund to ensure that people with disabilities have access to assistance to secure affordable housing.
EPIC Disability Advocacy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose vision is that all persons with disabilities will have access to the resources, programs, and services needed to reach their full potential.