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PHOENIX – Arizona state government has become a victim of the boom-and-bust economic cycle. Policymakers ramp up state spending when tax revenues are rising, then they must rush to cut back programs when the economy contracts and tax revenues fall. Voters expected to stop such yo-yo spending when they amended the Arizona Constitution 30 years ago by capping the annual amount of money the state can spend.
As recently as 2006, state revenue was climbing nearly 17 percent per year and few imagined that Arizona could be facing today’s financial crisis. Flush with cash, the state had three consecutive years of double-digit spending growth.
The state’s fiscal fortunes changed quickly. December 2009 was the 17th month in a row of double-digit tax revenue declines, consuming the state’s savings and putting Arizona $1 billion in debt just to maintain day-to-day operations.
Tax Day is here, and even after everyone has finished paying Uncle Sam, the people of Arizona will be asked to pay even more.
by Roman Goerss and Diane E. Brown
The Arizona Senate soon will decide the fate of a long-overdue proposal to make the budgets of counties, cities, towns and public schools available on the Internet. But without public support, this groundbreaking measure, House Bill 2282, may never see a final vote.
The Goldwater Institute's Byron Schlomach was live on Channel 3 to talk about a new Goldwater policy report that shows the state's pension fund is underfunded by $50 billion dollars--not $10 billion like the state claims.
Goldwater president Darcy Olsen went on the John C. Scott Show to discuss a variety of topics affecting Arizona, including the state budget, the proposed sales tax increase, and the Health Care Freedom Act.
The Goldwater Institute's Byron Schlomach talked with CBS 5 News about an MCSO bank account and why more transparency in government is needed.
PHOENIX—As Arizona legislators convene for a special session focused on closing the state’s budget deficit, they could save billions by adopting recommendations made by various state agencies to streamline operations, says a Goldwater Institute policy memo sent to lawmakers last week.
PHOENIX—Most Arizona families that receive welfare assistance have no one in the home working or training for a full-time job despite a federal mandate to do so, according to a new report from the Goldwater Institute.
Like many states, Arizona is grappling with a historic budget shortfall and faces complex decisions about what programs and services to reduce or eliminate. In response to the 2010 budget, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) made a series of cuts, including $13.5 million in the Cash Assistance welfare program. The state was wise not to cut welfare-to-work programs that are designed to move recipients off the welfare rolls and into self-sufficiency. Arizona should consider additional no-cost policies that would further save the state money and increase the number of people leaving welfare for gainful employment.