Blog Archives

Arizona so broke it may sell off its House, Senate

Capitol For Sale[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]

Arizona governor releases budget proposal

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has released her FY 2010 budget proposal.  Citing current assessments that show the state’s FY 2010 General Fund budget deficit to be growing and reaching upwards of $4 billion, coupled with the June 30th constitutionally mandated deadline for a balanced budget, Governor Brewer renewed her call for a “truly balanced budget.”

“Arizona’s growing fiscal crisis stands to inflict a devastating impact on our state,” Governor Brewer stated.  “We have a non-negotiable duty to adopt a budget that simultaneously addresses our current fiscal situation, our future economy, based on realistic projections, the immediate needs of our least fortunate adults and children during this grave economic time, and our stewardship role on behalf of future generations of Arizonans.”  To view Governor Brewer’s FY 2010 budget proposal, click here.

GPEC to hold community conversation about state’s economic & budget crisis

An event bringing officials and citizens together to address Arizona’s economic state:

  • Thursday, April 9, 2009
  • 9 – 11 a.m. (Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)
  • Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ  Map

Arizona’s fiscal 2009 budget faced the largest deficit in the country and the deficit is expected to nearly double next year, reaching $3 billion. The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) is determined to address this by convening Arizona’s business, education and government leaders, and elected officials for a two-hour event that will include:

  1. Presentation by Governor Brewer’s top advisors on current budget situation and budget recommendations.
  2. Presentation by GPEC on improving Arizona’s economic competitiveness.
  3. Q&A

Featuring:

  • Eileen Klein, Director, State Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting
  • Tom Manos, Governor’s Chief Budget Advisor
  • Michael Bidwill, President, Arizona Cardinals and GPEC Chair
  • Barry Broome, President/CEO, GPEC

RSVP by email or call 602-262-8632.

Arizona State Archives building: dedicated in January, closed in March

[Source: Bill Coates, Arizona Capitol Times] — As principal investigator for Arizona Historical Research, Vince Murray’s livelihood depends on access to Arizona state archives.  That access was severely curtailed March 4, when the new Polly Rosenbaum Arizona Archives and History Building was closed to the public, except by appointment.  And then for only two half-days a week.

Blame budget cuts.  For Murray, it means a project that used to take two weeks now could take more than two months.  “On any typical project, there’s going to be 40 to 80 hours of research,” Murray said.  “Well, here, you’ve got — what? — eight hours that you’re allowed to do it in a week.”  Clients for his historical consulting firm include state agencies, he said.

The archives closure was perhaps the most notable cost-cutting move by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records department.  Other divisions are operating on reduced hours, said GladysAnn Wells, the agency’s director.  Until the cuts, the library department had $2 million in operating funds, expected to carry it until June 30, the fiscal year’s end.  In January, however, the Legislature reduced that by nearly $1.5 million, she said.  There was one place to cut, Wells said.  “All we had left, really, was salaries,” she said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

On Jan. 29, state legislators want to hear from public about proposed budget cuts

[Source: Children’s Action Alliance] — The Arizona State Legislature Senate and House Democratic Caucuses are hosting public hearings on the state budget.  Lawmakers are facing tough decisions this legislative session, with a $1.6 billion budget deficit for FY09 and a projected $3 billion budget deficit for FY10.  Downtown Phoenix residents are urged to voice their opinions.

  • Date: January 29, 2009
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Place: Grace Lutheran Church, 1124 N. 3rd St., Phoenix

For more information, contact Cynthia Aragon, Community and Constituent Liaison, House of Representatives, 602-926-3591

State budget of Arizona, other states under strain

A Strain on State Budgets[Source: New York Times] — At least 37 states, including Arizona, and the District of Columbia have faced or are facing budget gaps totaling $66 billion in the 2009 fiscal year.  Most states, which rely on sales, income and property taxes, are seeing a significant drop in such revenues or increases that are below the inflation rate, compared to the same period last year.  Unlike the federal government, states are generally required to balance their budgets each year.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]