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Budget Web site to cost fraction of $100M estimate (access required)

It looks like Arizona won’t have to spend $100 million to put state budget information online. In fact, not even close. The cost of the Financial Transparency Web site scheduled to be launched in 2011 is estimated to cost $740,000, according to a Sept. 1 report by the General Accounting Office.

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Funding shortage plagues Corp Comm; Tucson office to close (access required)

The Arizona Corporation Commission voted on Oct. 5 to close a division office in southern Arizona as it grapples with funding woes resulting from the governor's budget veto and from legislative inaction to fix the problem. That office processes the papers of businesses that want to form new corporations in the state.

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State examining stimulus impact with an eye on jobs (access required)

State agencies are submitting their reports to the Governor's Office of Economic Recovery for the first comprehensive look at how Arizona has been impacted by the federal stimulus act. The Office of Economic Recovery, which oversees the state's use of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will collect the data through Oct. 6 and plans to submit a report to federal officials two days later.

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JLBC OKs $7M to complete parks projects

The State Parks Board, with the approval of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, released about $7 million to finish nearly completed projects that were put on hold in February. About $50 million of the parks budget was swept as part of state budget cuts and about a third of the agency was laid off, said Ellen Bilbrey, a public information officer for the Parks Board. In the process, Heritage Fund grants were suspended.

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Wanted: new revenue (access required)

Lawmakers will be facing quite the conundrum in 2010 - how to raise more revenue for the cash-strapped state without raising taxes. The Republican-led Legislature stymied attempts by Gov. Jan Brewer to put a sales tax increase on the ballot, and outright rejected the idea of passing a tax increase itself.

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Burns, Adams say Brewer’s vetoes violate Arizona Constitution (access required)

Legislative leaders say the governor exceeded her constitutional authority in some of her line-item vetoes of budget bills this month, but they decided against taking the matter to court. Gov. Jan Brewer said she "absolutely" stands by her action, adding she didn't give much thought to the lawmakers' statement that she doesn't have authority to line-item veto items that don't have to do with appropriations.

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