State Capitol News
3:46 pm
Tue February 9, 2010

House gives final approval to borrow $750 million to balance budget

Phoenix, AZ – One part of the plan would sell off $300 million of buildings,
with the state leasing them back for the next 20 years. If it
makes all the payments, the buildings will once again belong to
the state at that time. The other borrows $450 million outright,
with the state giving up the money it would expect to make from
the lottery for the next 20 years to repay that debt plus
interest. Rep. Nancy McLain said she understands the reluctance
to borrow. But she said her own experience as a business owner
shows her sometimes it's necessary.

(We stopped taking salary out of our company. That wasn't enough.
We borrowed against our line of credit at the bank. And still
that wasn't enough. And frankly we maxed out our credit cards so
we could keep our business going and keep our employees, as many
as possible, on the payroll.)

Rep. Bill Konopnicki who also owns a business said some borrowing
may make sense.

(But never, never, never do you take a 20-year note to meet
payroll. Never. This is absurd. And this isn't the first time
we've done this. I know we're out of options. But this is
absolutely, totally irresponsible.)

House leaders put off a vote on another bill which would let the
state delay $450 million in payments to public schools and
universities. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer