State Capitol News
Tue August 18, 2009
Time running out for lawmakers
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – The state's books already are in the red. The only thing keeping Arizona afloat is that various accounts that belong to state agencies are lending money to the general fund. But Martin said the state is spending more than it's collecting. So that line of credit will be "maxed out'' in October. Banks are willing to help-- but only if there's a balance budget.
(Thing is, it takes a couple of months to get a new line of
credit, to set up a new credit facility. So we need a balanced
budget signed into here very quickly so we have time to get ahead
of the state literally running out of money.)
That could put Arizona into the same situation as California was:
Issuing IOUs that no one would honor. Meanwhile any budget deal
remains elusive with the Senate lacking the votes for Brewer's
demand that voters be asked to temporarily hike the state sales
tax. Senate President Bob Burns said the governor should sign the
budget anyway. But gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said
Brewer is not backing down -- and it won't be her fault if
there's a financial meltdown.
(The governor's made it very clear to legislators for many weeks
and months now that if they were to not send a budget that was
acceptable to her that continuation of this financial crisis
would grow on an order and magnitude that the state of Arizona
has never seen.)
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.