Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer couldn't get her way with lawmakers on a temporary sales tax hike. But there is another option: the initiative process.
In essence, supporters of the concept of increasing sales taxes to bridge the gap between revenues and expenses would have to get the signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Brewer said she'd prefer it if lawmakers put the question to voters themselves.
Phoenix, AZ – Budget problems mean some state parks in rural areas could end up being open fewer hours.
The Parks Board is facing a $1.5 million gap between its operating budget and the money it has to spend. The result is that up to 30 workers -- close to one out of every 10 -- are going to have to be let go.
Phoenix, AZ – Standard and Poor's currently gives Arizona a double-A rating on its debt. That isn't changing. But the firm is changing the outlook from stable to negative, citing the state's weak revenues and the failure of lawmakers and the governor to adopt a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. State Treasurer Dean Martin said there's a reason for that.
Phoenix, AZ – On a raw level, the average test score for an Arizona senior on the ACT college-entrace exam is 21.9 versus 21.1 nationwide. And a higher percentage of those Arizona seniors are ready for college-level work than the national average. State School Superintendent Tom Horne said that's good news.
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.