State Capitol News

State Capitol News
11:32 am
Fri December 18, 2009

State Senate approves more cuts

Phoenix, AZ – State senators approved a plan Thursday to cut spending and sweep
money from special funds in a bid to close a 1-point-6 billion
dollar hole in the budget. But some funds got better treatment than others.

The reason is purely politics. Rep. Jerry Weiers said he wouldn't
vote for the plan unless his pet fund was protected -- one that
benefits users of off-road vehicles trails. He said it wouldn't
be fair to take the money.

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State Capitol News
11:41 am
Thu December 17, 2009

Tax hike proposal will not go to voters

Phoenix, AZ – Lawmakers convene this morning in special session. But the big issues they were
supposed to consider are gone.

One involved the push by Gov. Jan Brewer to ask voters for a
temporary one-cent hike in the state sales tax to help balance
the budget. The other dealt with a separate ballot measure to let
lawmakers raid funds that belong to programs previously approved
by voters. But House Speaker Kirk Adams said Wednesday a couple
of things went wrong.

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State Capitol News
11:38 am
Thu December 17, 2009

Arizona unemployment figures improve

Phoenix, AZ – The state finally got some really good news today about the
economy. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.

New figures from the state Department of Commerce show the
jobless rate dropped four tenths of a point between October and
November, to 8.9 percent. That is the first time since June the
rate has been below 9 percent. But Aruna Murthy, the agency's
director of economic analysis, said she's not ready to declare
that the worst is over.

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State Capitol News
11:36 am
Thu December 17, 2009

Proposed budget cuts could close state parks

Phoenix, AZ – State lawmakers took the first steps this afternoon to making
further budget adjustments -- including several that could end up
closing all state parks. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer
reports.

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State Capitol News
11:43 am
Tue December 15, 2009

Governor orders another special budget session

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer said today she's calling lawmakers into
special session on Thursday to deal with the budget. But she's missing
something.

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State Capitol News
9:00 am
Tue December 15, 2009

Legislature poised to refer sales tax to voters

Phoenix, AZ – The future of whether state residents will get a chance to hike
their sales taxes to balance the budget depends this morning on
whether House Democrats are willing to go along.

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State Capitol News
4:59 pm
Fri December 11, 2009

Special budget session plans hit snag

Phoenix, AZ – Plans for a special session this coming week have hit a snag. And
Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports the problem is not
partisan.

There appears to be the votes in both the House and Senate to put
a measure on the ballot for a temporary hike in the state sales
tax. That has been a cornerstone of the plan by Gov. Jan Brewer
to deal with the current budget shortfall as well as deficits for
the next few years.

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State Capitol News
4:15 pm
Thu December 10, 2009

Arizona tribal gaming revenues down, but still strong

Phoenix, AZ – Some new figures today show that while interest in gambling may
be down, it's hardly gone away.

Economist Alan Meister estimates that tribes in Arizona had gross
gaming revenues of about $1.9 billion last year. That's about 6
percent less than the year before. Meister said that drop is not
surprising.

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State Capitol News
4:21 pm
Wed December 9, 2009

Brewer fighting health care reform

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer went to Washington Tuesday, at least in part
to convince Congress to reject efforts to enact health care
reform at the expense of states.

Brewer said the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the
state's Medicaid program, already provides coverage for 1.3
million residents below the federal poverty level, about $18,000
a year for a family of three.

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State Capitol News
4:35 pm
Tue December 8, 2009

State employees could get IOUs

Phoenix, AZ – State and university employees could wind up with I-O-Us in their
pay envelopes in February instead of checks. Arizona Public
Radio's Howard Fischer explains why.

It's no secret that, even with the budget fixes last month, the
state is still running $1.6 billion in the red. That's largely
due to sales tax collections coming in at rates far below last
year as consumers keep their purses and wallet closed.

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