Pheonix, AZ –
Brewer had agreed to more than $660 million in new spending cuts. But in vetoing the plan last month, the governor reminded lawmakers that was acceptable only if they also gave voters the chance to decide if they're willing to temporarily hike the state sales for three years to minimize the effect of those cuts. They did not. And the package sent to her today includes only the spending cuts and not that sales tax referral. Despite that, House Speaker Kirk Adams said he believes she should sign the bills.
(I do believe that this is the worst fiscal crisis the state has
ever faced. We are in a major cash flow crunch. And there are a
lot of very good reasons to sign these bills.)
One reason is timing: State Treasurer Dean Martin warned earlier
this week that Arizona will run out of operating cash sometime in
October, with or without a new state budget. That's because the
total of what the state owes in obligations on specific dates
during the fiscal year at times might exceed what already has
been collected in taxes to that point. Martin said banks, which
need up to eight weeks to set up that line of credit, are willing
to do that -- but only if the state has adopted a budget. So far
this afternoon the governor has not said what she intends to do
with the bills. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.