Flagstaff, AZ – This past weekend the state legislature hammered out a budget balancing bill that plugged a 1.6 billion dollar funding gap. To do so the Republican majority cut more than one hundred million dollars from both universities and K through 12 education. Now the legislature has begun work on next year's budget, which already has an estimated 3 billion dollar shortfall.
During the chilly days and nights of winter, the small songbirds of western mountains flock together for companionship and for the security of many active eyes working together to spot food and predators.
Among forests and woodlands, mixed groups of softly chattering chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and other birds weave their way through the branches. Watch for a while, and you may get a sense of how flock members cooperate and move together as a group.
Flagstaff, AZ – These are tough times for Democrats at the Arizona state legislature. Republicans have strong majorities in the House and Senate, and now Jan Brewer in the Governor's office. Democratic representative Tom Chabin of Flagstaff spoke with Arizona Public Radio's Daniel Kraker about the challenges of having his voice heard at the capitol.
Phoenix, AZ – Members of the state Parks Board balked today at a proposal to shutter eight locations, saying they wanted to see if there were better alternatives. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.
Agency Director Ken Travous said closing the parks was the best way to deal with the nearly $4.9 million lawmakers took from the department's operting budget and $17.3 million raided from special funds, all to deal with a $1.6 billion deficit.
Phoenix, AZ – The vote by the Legislature early Saturday to plug the 1-point-6 billion dollar hole in the budget does not end the fight over spending cuts.
That's because gap between revenues and expenses for the coming year could hit $3 billion. John Kavanagh who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said that is likely to mean even deeper cuts to education.
Flagstaff, AZ – During these hard times more and more people are visiting their local library. In northern Arizona the number of books and DVDs checked out is way up. And many unemployed are job hunting, working on resumes and filling out applications on library computers. But libraries aren't immune to budget problems. Arizona Public Radio's Laurel Morales examines how northern Arizona libraries are handling the stress.
That was funny! Oh there's Parker and Cassidy. Hi guys!
Phoenix, AZ – State lawmakers early this morning finally approved a revised budget to deal with the deficit.
Adoption came after the Republican-controlled Legislature beat back efforts by Democrats to reverse proposed cuts for several programs, especially funds for public schools, community colleges and universities. One amendment by Rep. David Schapira specifically sought to restore the $142 million in cuts to the university system.
Phoenix, AZ – State lawmakers are poised to cut $1.1 billion from the state budget today. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.
The plan adopted late Thursday by House and Senate Appropriations committees reduces state aid to public schools by about $130 million, take $142 million from universities and $9 million from community colleges.