Governor vetoes 10 bills, asks legislature to send budget that boosts teacher pay

Governor Doug Ducey has vetoed 10 pieces of legislation to send a message to the Legislature that he wants them to send him a state budget that boosts teacher pay.

Friday's vetoes by the Republican governor came the day after tens of thousands of teachers rejected his plan to boost their pay by 20 percent and voted to go on strike next week.

Teachers say Gov. Ducey ignored their demands that he also raise pay for support staff, boost overall school funding, restore school funding to 2008 levels and stop tax cuts until funding reaches the national average. Gov. Ducey has refused to meet with leaders of the teacher protests.

His veto letters say:

"I have never seen, in 30 years of doing this, a Governor be more direct than vetoing 10 bills all in the same day, each with the same three-line veto message," said Stan Barnes with Copper State Consulting.

It will cost $600 dollars to provide a 20% pay raise to Arizona teachers by 2020. Teachers voted to walk off their jobs and united in large numbers, because they don't believe the governor will make good on his promise of a 20% pay raise by 2020. Meanwhile, the Governor's Office says that's because Republicans in the state house won't help him keep his promise.

"Reports of yet another plan by House Republican leadership to raid additional assistance dollars from schools is very troubling," said Gov. Ducey, in a statement. "The Governor is committed to getting teachers a 20% raise by school year 2020, and ensuring we provide other funding that schools have been counting on. No more shell games. It's time to pass a budget and get teachers the raise they have earned."

House leaders were not available for interviews Friday, but they did send a statement that reads:

So what might happen between now and next Thursday, when teachers could walk off their jobs? GOP lawmakers could find ways of coming up with the money, or the governor could wind up teaming up with Democrats and a few Republicans to get the pay raise through the Legislature, essentially bypassing the GOP leadership.

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.