Tuesday's Defeat of Two Ballot Measures Leave Big Hole in State Budget
Phoenix, AZ – Proposition 301 would have let lawmakers take of what's left in a
special voter-approved fund to set aside land for open space.
Prop 302 would have killed the First Things First program, and
diverted the proceeds from the 80-cent-a-pack cigareette tax,
also approved by voters, to the Legislature. Together they would
have produced about $450 million for the balance of this budget
year. Now the deficit could hit $900 million or more. Gov. Jan
Brewer said she's not sure if that means people don't trust
(You know, I have no idea. But I've always respected the voters'
will. And we will move forward and deal with that in the budget.
Make some hard decisions of course. But I respect their wishes.)
Russell Pearce, who hopes to become the next Senate president,
said the answer is deeper spending cuts.
(We're still the fifth richest medical welfare program in the
nation. We have not touched education virtually. We have not cut
fat. And, again, we've grown government 12 percent a year, six
years in a row, under Napolitano. We've cut nothing. Infation and
population for those six years was only at 6 percent. We have
plenty of room to cut.)
There is one problem with trimming the state's Medicaid program:
A provision in the federal health care law says states that scale
back what they now have lose all federal Medicaid help, about $7
billion a year. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.