Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a budget that he said was filled with gimmicks — or as he put it, “legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings.” Editorial boards have praised Brown for exercising responsible fiscal judgment. Meanwhile, Brian Joseph of the Orange County Register has written that Brown’s own budget plan uses gimmicks, too.Read More »
After policymakers borrowed heavily to keep government afloat amid a festering fiscal crisis that blew holes in the state’s budget for four years, a former Senate president tried to put into place a mechanism to rein in politicians’ appetite for debt-financing.Read More »
Pointing out that Arizona faces a revenue cliff when a temporary sales tax increase expires in two years, Senate President Russell Pearce said any extra money the state collects won’t be used to restore cuts or be spent on new programs.Read More »
Arizona State University president Michael Crow says the school will cope with the latest $90 million reduction in state funding by increasing tuition, attracting more students and cutting costs in various places.Read More »
U.S. Reps. Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor have gone on the offensive against Gov. Jan Brewer's plans to freeze Medicaid enrollment.Read More »
As amended, the bill allows AHCCCS to adopt rules necessary to implement a program given available funds, providing the agency the ability to make changes to its services, eligibility and rates. Also, the bill contains an intent clause for certain transplant services that were eliminated last year to be funded, and a “notwithstanding” language that the Governor’s Office says gives the agency broad leeway to restore the services.Read More »
Lawmakers this year said they strove to keep non-budget policy changes out of the budget package and, while many that were originally considered were removed, they couldn’t completely insulate the final compromise from policies whose ties to the budget are tenuous, at best.Read More »
Fiscally conservative Republicans won the argument when the governor agreed to forego borrowing and other budget gimmicks to help shore up the state’s sagging revenues, and the budget-slashing proposal was also a vindication for legislators who saw themselves as lone voices in the wilderness, warning for many years that politicians’ appetite for spending would one day come back to haunt them.
But a bigger, perhaps more critical fight looms.
The cuts public schools will face next year are smaller than Senate Republicans initially proposed, but probably aren’t small enough to prevent teacher layoffs and school closings, according to some school officials.Read More »
Caught between her vow to hold the line on education funding and a Legislature determined to structurally balance the budget for the first time in years, Gov. Jan Brewer prodded lawmakers to make compromises that gave both sides most of what they wanted.Read More »