Phoenix, AZ – A new report today shows the state's jobless rate remained virtually unchanged for the second month in a row. But that doesn't necessarily mean the economy is stabilizing.
The 9.1 percent unemployment figure for September is the same as it was in August. And it's actually a tenth of a point less than July. But Lisa Danka of the state Department of Commerce said that doesn't show the whole picture.
Phoenix, AZ – It was less than a month ago the former Republican governor said he was interested in getting his old job back. He said incumbent Jan Brewer, was making -- quote -- very poor decisions. But on Thursday Symington endorsed John Munger. He said that had nothing to do with a poll last month that showed he would be beaten handily in a head-to-head race with presumed Democratic nominee Terry Goddard, citing instead a more recent survey which showed him just 7 points back.
Phoenix, AZ – The state's Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, already provides free care to anyone below the federal poverty level. That computes out to about $18,300 a year for a family of three. One out of every six residents already is enrolled. But Brewer said about 200,000 Arizonans who are eligible have not signed up. The governor said the reason is that they are young and, for the moment, healthy.
Phoenix, AZ – A new study by the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation finds that, on average, the cost of food is 20 percent less now than it was a year ago. The organization's Peggy Jo Goodfellow said that historically prices have gone up when the cost of raw commodities and fuel go up.
(So naturally when things start coming down we're seeing a decrease in fuel pricing. Commodity prices have gone down. We all know that right now in the grocery store we can buy eggs, milk and cheese for a lot less than we were paying one year go.)
Phoenix, AZ – The governor said the latest official prediction of $1.5 billion in red ink is no surprise. She said that's why she directed state agencies last month to detail what they would eliminate if their budgets got slashed by 15 percent. But Brewer said that, unlike prior spending reductions, the next cuts are unlikey to be across the board.
(It will be horizontal cuts. It will not be vertical cuts any longer. There will be probably a lot of programs that will have to be done away with.)