Phoenix, AZ – It's on our license plates, in tourism brochures and even on signs welcoming visitors to Arizona. But state historian Marshall Trimble said it was only after being queried by a school girl that he discovered that Arizona is not the Grand Canyon State -- at least not officially. Trimble told members of the House Government Committee he promised the girl he would remedy that.
Phoenix, AZ – Lobbyists were counting on the votes of not just Republicans but also that of Democrat Cloves Campbell. He had previously indicated he might be willing to continue the special law that allows lenders to charge what amounts to an annual rate of 400 percent on two week loans. Campbell said that's too high. But he also said the lenders didn't care about -- and only wanted to take money from -- his largely minority constituency until they needed his vote.
Phoenix, AZ – The proposal by House Speaker Kirk Adams is based on the philosophy that at least part of the reason Arizona's economy has been hit so hard is that it lacks diversity. Much of what has driven the state has been growth -- people moving here -- which fueled the construction industry. And when the real estate bubble burst, so did that base. Adams said the elements of the bill are based on an economic study he commissioned.
Phoenix, AZ – Goddard formed an exploratory committee in November, saying he believes he could provide better leadership than Jan Brewer. But he sidestepped questions at that time of exactly what he would do different than the incumbent to deal with the state's deficit.
(Specific proposals are going to have to wait until I become a candidate, if I make that decision. I'm very disturbed and I don't deny we have a serious challenge ahead of us.)
Phoenix, AZ – The high court said federal laws limiting how corporations and unions can spend money to convince voters to support one candidate or oppose another violate the First Amendment. State elections director Amy Bjelland that makes Arizona's similar laws unenforceable. Jim Haynes of the Behavior Research Center said many corporations will stay out of races for fear of offending customers or shareholders, concerns unions won't have. But Rebekah Friend of the state AFL-CIO disagreed.
Phoenix, AZ – On one hand, retail employment went up by 2,000 over November. But that's to be expected this time of year as merchants hire seasonal help. The better indicator is the fact that overall retail employment in Arizona last month was 15,000 less than a year earlier. Aruna Murthi, the director of economic analysis for the Department of Commerce, said that is not surprising.
(We are experiencing a recession that we have never seen before. So it was way deeper than any of the past recession.)