By Christopher Conover and Andrea Kelly
Arizona Public Media

The Legislature lightened the financial load on local governments this year.

While the budget strains being passed down from the state aren't eliminated, they didn't get worse this year, and in some cases, things look a little better, two local officials say.

Pima County was required, in previous years, to write a check to help balance the state budget. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry says the requirement ended this year, saving the county $6 million.

A funding shift the local governments have complained about for years is the state decision to take Highway User Revenue Fund money from local governments and use it to pay for the state Department of Public Safety. The fund is made up of transportation money such as gasoline taxes and goes for street and road maintenance and building.

Huckelberry says that shift remains, but the state stopped using highway funds to operate the Motor Vehicle Division, saving Pima County about $2.8 million.

Beyond the budget, Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda says the city fared well with other legislation.