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Are struggling community banks prepared for a new threat? (access required)

Most community banks in Arizona are losing money, lending is down, and a veteran banker concedes that every day is a challenge. It was a little too challenging for two Arizona banks, which were closed by state and federal regulators Aug. 14. A third bank is operating under federal orders to improve what were found to be “unsafe and unsound banking practices.”

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Brewer will get budget, sans sales tax referral (access required)

The fate of two-months-overdue budget aimed at solving a $3.2 billion deficit now rests in the hands of Gov. Jan Brewer, as lawmakers delivered the plan to her eight weeks into a special legislative session called specifically to address the financial problems.

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New target date for budget: Aug. 20 (access required)

Arizona lawmakers are planning to send a set of budget bills to the Governor's Office on Aug. 20, after a short floor session today that ended without any action. But that budget plan will not include the proposal for a sales tax referral, something that Gov. Jan Brewer has insisted on for months.

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Pierce pulls double duty (access required)

On a rack in Steve Pierce’s office sits a cap that declares, “Operation Chaos.” Pierce, a freshman senator from Prescott, wore it while the Legislature passed a set of budget bills in June.

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