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Communities, state face tight budgets as they prepare for centennial

It's closing in on 100 years since veterinarian A.J. Chandler sold plots of his 18,000-acre ranch to establish the city. That was three months after Arizona became a state on Feb. 14, 1912. City leaders are organizing to commemorate both centennials next year. But given the poor economy and tight budget, it's going to require scaling back some and seeking private donations, said Jean Reynolds, Chandler's public history coordinator.

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Passing the buck: Local governments’ worst budget fears  (access required)

Local government is usually the last place the Legislature looks to find extra money, but the state budget deficit has forced lawmakers to take desperate steps. This year and last, cities and counties have been forced to pay bills that historically have been the state's responsibility. During the past year, lawmakers have taken money that was intended to pay for local services, limited cities' ability to collect fees, and hoisted new burdens onto the shoulders of city officials who are trying to overcome the same economic conditions that ravaged two consecutive state budgets.

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