A Tale of Two States: Nevada Democrats Boost Education Funding While Arizona Republicans Make Cuts

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WASHINGTON — Under Democratic leadership, the Nevada Legislature approved a $500 million increase in education funding over the next two years, a move that exemplifies Democrats’ support for public education.

The legislation stands in stark contrast to the agenda advanced by Republicans in neighboring Arizona, who struck a budget deal that would introduce a regressive income tax structure and drastically reduce taxes on the rich — undermining a voter-approved initiative that would have raised nearly $1 billion for Arizona schools through higher taxes on the wealthy. 

“Arizona and Nevada may be neighbors, but the policies they’ve adopted could not be more different,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee executive director Heather Williams. “Republicans are trying to rebrand as a ‘workers’ party,’ but they will always prioritize cutting taxes for the wealthy over funding public services. Nevada Democrats are focused on the kitchen table issues that matter to voters, whereas the Arizona GOP is still beholden to the elites. The difference between the parties couldn’t be clearer.”

Republicans’ move to undermine the Arizona school funding scheme comes as GOP leaders across the country try to curtail voter-approved initiatives. Arizonans clearly voted to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund schools, and the budget deal jeopardizes the security of this funding stream. Instead of respecting the will of voters, Republicans are increasingly rejecting it entirely. 

The school funding bill shows Nevada Democrats’ focus on tackling the challenges their constituents face in this year’s legislative session. Arizona’s Republican leaders, in contrast, have prioritized divisive legislation that would suppress votes, restrict reproductive freedom, and pursued a bizarre, conspiracy-laden “audit” of last November’s election results. 

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