State Capitol News
4:51 am
Wed March 18, 2009

Governer Brewer warns of more education cuts

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer said today that state's public schools,
community colleges and universities are going to face further
budget cuts, even if she gets her temporary tax hike.

Lawmakers approved -- and Brewer signed -- legislation to cut
$133 million this year from K-12 education and $150 million from
higher ed. But the state faces a potential $3 billion deficit for
next year. Brewer has proposed fixing that with further cuts,
federal stimulus dollars and a temporary tax increase, traveling
around the state pitching her plan. A group of business leaders
listened to her latest talk but asked for assurance there would
be no further cuts, especially to universities, because that's
where they get their qualified employees. Brewer refused.

"Assurance is one thing. And doing what is necessary is another
thing. Unfortunately, we probably are going to see some more
reduction in K thru 12 and higher education in the state of
Arizona."

Brewer said a third of the state budget is legally untouchable.
She said that means everything else has got to be trimmed.
Democrats have proposed their own alternative that involves no
new cuts. But the governor said that's not realistic.

"We can go back and do funny math, we can go back and we can
borrow money. We can do all kinds of magic things -- which in
essence is what got us to the point of where we're at now."