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Author Archives: Don Harris

Is privatization the answer? (access required)

While the governor proposed eliminating the Department of Juvenile Corrections as a way to save money, one private company has said it could operate the program for slightly more than half of the agency’s fiscal 2009 budget.

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Looming Corrections crisis (access required)

The much-maligned Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, slated for the chopping block early in the budget process this year, won a stay of execution. But not everyone is happy about the apparent reprieve, especially county officials who face the prospect of assuming the financial responsibility of housing and rehabilitating the state's juvenile inmates.

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ASRS director says fund solid, Legislature can’t touch it

Even with a mind-numbing return on investment of minus 18 percent and a report suggesting that the Arizona State Retirement System is woefully underfunded, retirees and current employees banking on a stable pension check need not worry.

So says Paul Matson, ASRS director, who notes that the retirement system is sitting on a whopping $25.5 billion pot of money.

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Field of solar dreams: Next-gen dishes could deliver bright future (access required)

A walking tour of the Maricopa Solar generating facility, billed as the "world's first commercial-scale SunCatcher plant," is like taking a step into the future. It's not as striking as the movie "Avatar," which is set at a time when Earth's resources have been depleted, but it provides a glimpse of what is being done to deal with the depletion of nonrenewable energy sources.

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Immigration debate hasn’t changed in 30 years

When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was back in town last week, she suggested that reform of the nation’s immigration laws will be a priority for President Obama in 2010. The former Arizona governor was quoted in a local newspaper as saying two-thirds of the public wants immigration fixed, understanding that the U.S. is not going to deport an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. The remaining one-third, she said, don’t want any changes.

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