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.
Phoenix, AZ – The vote by the House ratifies the action taken last week by the Senate in declaring that the tax, which hasn't been levied in three years, should go away permanently. Only Republicans supported the measure on the grounds that allowing the tax to return as it is set to this year would take $250 million out of the economy. But Democrat David Schapira saw the issue in a different light.