State Capitol News
4:19 am
Mon January 12, 2009

Napolitano Gives Final State Speech

Phoenix, AZ – The governor acknowledged the economic slump and the hit that it has made in state tax revenues, while also stating that the flip side of that is more Arizonans need help.

"In the past year more than 70,000 Arizonans have enrolled in state health care through AHCCCS and KidsCare. More than 150,000 Arizona families have received foreclosure notices. It would be wrong to hurt our seniors, our youngest children and those who are will or disabled in the name of balancing the budget," said Napolitano.

Nonetheless, the chances of Napolitano getting the budget her way -- with few cuts and a lot more borrowing -- are virtually nil. House Speaker Kirk Adams noted Napolitano is expected to quit sometime next week after being confirmed as the new head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said lawmakers listened pretty much because they had to.

"She is the governor of the state of Arizona still, for a few days anyway. And out of respect for the office of governor it was important that she have the opportunity to give a farewell address. Is it relevant to the upcoming session? No," said Adams.

Adams said lawmakers will begin hearings later this week to figure out how to balance the budget.