State Capitol News
4:08 am
Tue June 24, 2008

Lottery May Help Fund New Budget

Phoenix, AZ – A budget proposal unveiled today could put universities in the position of hoping that people try to scratch it rich. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.


One element of the proposal would allow the universities to
borrow $1 billion for new construction and renovation. It would
be paid off over the next 25 years from additional money the
Arizona Lottery would generate by convincing more people to
gamble more of their money. Senate Minority Leader Marsha
Arzberger said the need for the cash is there.

(If you visited NAU lately or if you visited some of the older
buildings at the U of A and also at ASU, some of those buildings
are deteriorating. This is an opportunity to build those back
into standards and keep our universities at a national level.)

Neither Arzberger nor Senate President Tim Bee play the Lottery.
But he said there is not enough in tax revenues to meet the
needs.

(These are difficult times. Absent some identified funding source
it was unlikely these projects will move forward, which is long
term going to create an overburden on the system when students
from K-12 are arriving at the university campuses.)

The entire Senate spending plan includes another $1 billion of
borrowing just to keep the state running for the next year.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.