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Arizona said to be on track for financing

Arizona is on track to complete a big financing deal needed so the cash-short state government can pay its bills during February, officials said Jan. 6. The Department of Administration said it plans to complete approximately $735 million of sale-leaseback financing for prisons, legislative buildings and other state properties this month.

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Brewer appoints Colangelo, other business leaders to new council

Gov. Jan Brewer has appointed a new council focused on spurring economic development and growth in Arizona. The Governor's Commerce Advisory Council, comprised of business leaders across the state including former Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamonbacks owner Jerry Colangelo and Pinnacle West/APS CEO Don Brandt, is scheduled to present its findings and proposed plan during the first quarter of 2010.

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Govs ready speeches as fiscal woes persist

As governors prepare their 2010 state of the state addresses, at least 36 of them are still struggling to close continuing budget deficits for the current fiscal year, while worrying about new gaps looming in their 2011 spending plans. The shortfalls show no signs of going away as state revenue continues to fall far below projections, leaving some lawmakers and the public poised to rethink the role of state government.

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Lights out on payday loans (access required)

Next year, the Arizona Legislature will decide whether to eliminate payday lending in the state, which presents a dilemma for Republican lawmakers who will have to decide between their free-enterprise beliefs and a moral objection to the large fees on short-term loans.

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