State Capitol News
9:30 am
Thu December 24, 2009

Brewer signs off on more budget cuts

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer inked her approval late Wednesday to the
package of nearly 200 million dollars in spending cuts and fund
shifts to help balance the budget.

In a letter to Republican legislative leaders, Brewer said she
appreciates the work that was done. But the governor then started
picking apart some of what's in the package. For example, she
complained about cuts to the Department of Revenue, saying they
will undermine that agency's ability to collect taxes due the
state. Brewer said trimming the Department of Commerce will hurt
the ability to attract high-paying jobs here. And she said other
budget reductions could result in closure of all the state parks
and eventually put the Arizona State Fair out of business.

She
then took a specific slap at legislative leaders for crafting the
budget cuts without bothering to consult her or the agencies that
are affected, saying -- quote -- We must stop drafting bills in a
vacuum, which often leads to unintended consequences.

Senate
President Bob Burns, acknowledged the measure was put together
largely with only legislative input. But he said there was no
evidence that a plan Brewer herself was crafting would be done in
time, much less have the necessary votes for approval. And he
brushed aside the governor's concerns about specific programs
that were trimmed this time. He said that, given the $1.5 billion
deficit that still remains, if they weren't cut now they would
have to be cut later. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.