State Capitol News
1:38 am
Tue September 23, 2008

Republicans warn state needs to cut spending

Phoenix, AZ – The top Republican budget crafters in the Senate is warning the
state needs to cut spending -- and soon -- to avoid disaster.
Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.


Lawmakers adopted a $9.9 billion spending plan for the new fiscal
year that began July 1. But Sen. Bob Burns said the taxes to
support that budget already are running $180 million less than
anticipated. He wants Gov. Janet Napolitano to call a special
session.

(This is the governor's budget that we're living in. This is a
budget the governor pushed through in the very late stages of the
session. So I think that the ball's in her court. She needs to
make that first step to offer up what would be a plan to fix the
problem.)

Gubernatorial press aide Jeanine L'Ecuyer said her boss is on top
of it, noting Napolitano froze hiring at many state agencies back
in February. L'Ecuyer said the governor's advisers are tracking
spending, though she had no specifics on how Napolitano plans to
bring the budget back into balance.

(We are forming up more of the details day to day. It's a very
involved process as you know. We're going to be talking more and
more about the specifics of what's she's doing. The governor's
managing the budget. That's what the executive branch is. It's
what is required and does, and has.)

But Burns said the longer the delay, the harder it will be to
bring spending in line with revenues.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.