State Capitol News
9:37 am
Wed July 22, 2009

State to get stimulus money early

Phoenix, AZ – Govenor Jan Brewer announced today the state is getting some of
its federal stimulus dollars early. But her office was less than clear about what
she intends to do with it.

It's always been known that the state was going to get $185
million in unrestricted cash, money the governor can use any way
she wants. Originally the check for the last $61 million was
supposed to arrive this fall. But Brewer press aide Tasya
Peterson said the Obama administration recognized the financial
needs of not just Arizona but all the states. So what are the
plans for putting that money to use?

(That hasn't yet been determined.)

So when do you plan to determine that?

(We don't know yet. That's up to the governor.)

Brewer gave some general ideas earlier this year of her
priorities, including education, health care, public safety and
the broad general category of innovation, technology and economic
development. But Peterson said the governor has nothing more
specific at this point despite the state's current $3 billion
deficit.

(I'm saying it hasn't yet been determined. That doesn't mean it
isn't in the thought process, which I know it is.)

And if there's no specific plan -- and the money was coming this
fiscal year anyway, what's the point of the press release?

(Well, to let everybody know the money has been released early
for use. And that the governor intends to put it to good use.)

Which is where we started this conversation.