We support the higher education priorities expressed in Governor Ducey’s proposed budget and the direction it provides to the legislature for FY 2020. As the Arizona economy continues to gain strength, and having accepted significant funding reductions during the first half of this decade, Arizona State University students and families will benefit from the restoration of funding in the Governor’s proposed budget.
We are also pleased to see funding allocated to cover the increases to the employer premiums in the Health Insurance Trust Fund, which is intended to fund state and university employee health care expenses. For many years, HITF was used as a source of funding for unrelated purposes. That practice, combined with flat employee insurance premium contributions during the Great Recession, resulted in HITF being short of the funding required to pay for employee health care expenses and therefore caused additional costs to the university and its students.
Finally, we applaud Governor Ducey’s proposal to fund the Teacher’s Academy, which ASU has fully embraced. We share the Governor’s belief that providing full tuition scholarships to students who wish to pursue a degree in teaching will be of benefit to the entire state and we thank him for making this a priority.