[Source: National Post, Ontario, Canada] — Has Arnold Schwarzenegger heard of this? Arizona’s financial condition is so desperate the state is considering selling off its legislative structures, including its Senate and House buildings, for US$735 million.
The Arizona Republic reports: “Dozens of other state properties also may be sold as the state government faces its worst financial crisis in a generation, if not ever. The plan isn’t to liquidate state assets, though. Instead, officials hope to sell the properties and then lease them back over several years before assuming ownership again. The complex financial transaction would allow government services to continue without interruption while giving the state a fast infusion of as much as $735 million, according to Capitol projections.”
Arizona is looking at a budget deficit of about $3.4 billion, in a state with a population of 6.5 million.
The financial crisis doesn’t reflect well on the Republicans, who have dominated both houses of government for 15 years. The selloff reportedly could include the House and Senate buildings, the Phoenix and Tucson headquarters of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the State Hospital and the state fairgrounds, and some prison facilities. But the copper-domed Capitol building, built in 1901, is apparently excluded. [Note: Read the full article at Arizona so broke it may sell off its House, Senate]