State Capitol News
1:48 pm
Fri October 16, 2009

State agencies prepare for 15% cuts

Phoenix, AZ – State agency chiefs detailed today what might best be described
as a list of "horribles" that will occur if they are forced to cut
their spending by 15 percent.

Department of Public Safety Director Roger Vanderpool said he
would have to cut at least 20 percent of his sworn officers. He
said that would send a message to human and drug smugglers that
Arizona is -- quote -- open territory. And stranded rural
motorists might have to fend for themselves. Potentially more
controversial is a proposal by corrections chief Charles Ryan to
release more than 13,000 conviced felons early. But Gov. Jan
Brewer told Arizona Public Radio the reports she sought were not
designed to scare lawmakers and the public into backing her
temporary sales tax hike.

"No, I don't believe that's true at all. I don't need to scare
anybody into anything. The fact of the matter is we're facing a
$1.5 billion deficit. We indeed need to go in there and we're
going to have to cut. Generally speaking, it's personnel,
unfortunately."

Brewer emphasized this is not the final word.

"This is just the beginning of a process. This is not what I'm
proposing. This is what the agency directors say that they
believe they can get to with that 15 percent cut."

Other proposals would do everything from eliminating tutoring
help for students who can't pass the AIMS test to killing a
program that provides health care to the children of the working
poor.