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Deficit figure still a moving target (access required)

Lawmakers and budget officials have been estimating the deficit of the upcoming fiscal year at about $3 billion, even though the economy has continued a treacherous slide and state revenues have eroded at an alarming pace.

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Brewer signs FY09 budget bills (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer on May 14 signed two bills to adjust the fiscal 2009 budget with a combination of federal stimulus money, delayed payments to K-12 schools and universities, and excess funds saved in recent years by school districts.

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Legislature fixes $650M deficit in fiscal 2009 (access required)

The Senate and the House approved a plan on May 13 that suspends a payment of $300 million to school districts until the next fiscal year and instead allows them to tap into their excess cash balances to cover ongoing expenses. The plan is part of a two-bill package aimed at solving a $650-million budget deficit in fiscal 2009.

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Budget gets House panel OK, but it’s just a start (access required)

A legislative panel may have spent the better part of seven hours debating, amending and approving a package of budget bills, but that doesn't mean action on a plan to solve a roughly $3 billion deficit is imminent. Rather, many lawmakers say the significance of the committee's work is that it sets the stage for progress to be made.

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A full transcript of the April 17 letter to Brewer (access required)

Dear Governor Brewer: For the last two months, we have met with your staff on a regular basis to discuss ongoing budget issues, tax reform and progress related to the federal stimulus funds. Concurrently, members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have continued their work toward a legislative budget proposal. We have spent considerable time with the members providing educational opportunities so that they would have the information needed to make budget decisions

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