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Arizona not alone in fiscal storm (access required)

The recession hit Arizona hard, but the situation here isn't as precarious as in Illinois, which is struggling from a whopping $13 billion budget deficit. Like Arizona, many states face significant budget shortfalls this year, a situation that probably will get worse as federal aid expires next year.

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State debt: Arizona’s money pit (access required)

The state has borrowed more than $2 billion during the past four fiscal years, boosting its total debt load to $9.7 billion. At least one-third of the state’s debt must be repaid using money from the same account that lawmakers draw upon to pay for public education, Medicaid programs and other basic government services.

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