Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation allowing the state's three public universities to borrow up to $1 billion to build new research facilities and tackle a maintenance backlog.
The bill Ducey signed Monday provides $27 million a year to help cover payments plus annual inflation increases.
The bonding package was one of the most contentious of the session. Many majority Republicans opposed it until cutting deals at the last minute.
No House Democrats backed the bill but many Senate Democrats ended up voting for it.
The funding will allow Ducey to claim a win going into his 2018 re-election bid by pointing to the new university funding. But it doesn't come close to replacing the $99 million in annual funding he cut in his first budget in 2015.