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Tag Archives: John Kavanagh

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Mixed messages emerge from school override, bond votes

If there's a message in the results of this month's school bond and budget override votes, the meaning is up for wide interpretation. The approval rate for overrides and bond issues requested by school districts on Nov. 2 was lower than the five-year average, leading some to conclude that the public's willingness to pay more taxes for education has decreased.

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Wishful thinking interrupted by budget reality (access required)

JLBC has singled out three budget provisions that wouldn't live up to their billing: a plan to save $50 million due to reduced fraud in the health care system; deals to privatize nine of the 10 state prisons; and a plan to raise $735 million by selling dozens of state buildings, then leasing them back. But there's more.

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Lottery renewal needed before state can borrow (access required)

The odds of winning the Arizona Lottery's big jackpot are about one in 175 million. The odds that lawmakers will sell off future lottery revenues for a quick cash infusion are exponentially better. As lawmakers ponder how to fix a fiscal 2011 budget deficit that is expected to top $2 billion, many are viewing lottery securitization as a last resort whose time has come.

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Lawmakers inch toward special session (access required)

Lawmakers are inching closer to a special session as Senate leadership proposes that the Legislature convene to fix the budget woes of state agencies affected by the governor's veto. House leadership was polling members to see if they support the idea, Senate President Bob Burns told the Arizona Capitol Times on October 22.

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Capitol Quotes 10/16 (access required)

"I still think there's a federal law out there that gives me the authority to do this. I might not have the right one, but there is one out there." - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, commenting on his authority to arrest illegal immigrants now that the federal government has changed the 287(g) agreement. He also was referring to the text of what he believed was a federal law that doesn't exist in U.S. Code.

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Bare-bones Revenue Department would eliminate audits (access required)

An unintended consequence of a veto last month means the state agency tasked with collecting taxes is on the verge of laying off more than half of its staff, barring a budget fix to allow access to all of the money lawmakers gave it earlier this year. Anthony Forschino, the agency's assistant director, said the layoffs would still allow the Department of Revenue to function, but in a bare-bones manner.

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Employer sanctions coming up short (access required)

Arizona's employer sanctions law has been in effect for 21 months, yet no businesses have been shut down over hiring practices. In fact, there hasn't yet been a single business forced to defend itself in court. But now, one lawmaker wants to change all that by giving county attorneys more enforcement powers.

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Brewer hopes showing impact of cuts will spur revenue increase (access required)

At Brewer’s request, all state agency heads were required to submit reports detailing the effects 15-20 percent spending reductions would have on their departments. Those reports, which were due Oct. 9, are intended partly to demonstrate to the Legislature that sizeable cuts would have dramatic consequences, according to Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman.

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