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PHOENIX - Today the Arizona legislature issued a draft budget for next year and a key sticking point in the budget negotiations is expected to be funding for all-day kindergarten. Governor Napolitano requested $105 million for all-day kindergarten funding. Rather than setting aside the funding specifically for all-day kindergarten, the legislature proposed giving this amount to school districts to spend however they see fit. A new report shows all-day kindergarten funding is unlikely to raise Arizona's poor academic achievement.
It's coming down to crunch time in the legislative session. If you don't pay much attention to baseball until the World Series or if you're not a big fan of college basketball until March Madness - this is the time of year to keep an eye on your state Legislature.
In November, the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Phoenix, released a telling case study of the rise of one of the nation's premier public universities, the University of Michigan.
PHOENIX-The $8.2 billion budget signed today by Gov. Janet Napolitano is a 12 percent increase over last year's budget, a growth rate more than four times higher than the population growth rate of 2.6 percent. Excessive spending that outpaces the population means individual taxpayers shoulder a larger tax burden and sets the state up for fiscal crisis in times of economic slowdown.
In 1998, the City of Tempe and America West Airlines entered into an agreement to redevelop part of downtown Tempe. The city agreed to convey property to America West for free and then pay America West approximately $15 million over twenty years. In return, America West pledged to develop the property and convey ownership of the improvements back to the city. Tempe agreed to then lease the property back to America West.
If Republican leaders force Gov. Janet Napolitano to blink and sign a state budget that doesn't include her top spending wishes, it won't be because the state lacks the money.
Unlike the past three recession-plagued years, state revenues are flowing in like water through a broken dam. But squabbles over school voucher programs, all-day kindergarten, a downtown medical school and assorted other programs have produced a stalemate despite the unexpected cash.
PHOENIX-A new report examining more than 10 years of data finds Arizona taxpayers could have received $4.5 billion in tax refunds since 1992 had Arizona enacted a budget stabilization reform modeled after Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
We hear it all the time: "If a family should be forced to reduce its budget in bad times, so should government." It has become something of a mantra among fiscal conservatives.
PHOENIX-In her state-of-the-state address today, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano echoed her 2004 address in calling for nearly 20 new programs and increased spending on existing programs. However, Goldwater Institute analysts explain that new programs and more spending are likely to exacerbate, not solve, Arizona's policy challenges.
According to Valley Metro's own projections, the light rail project proposed by the Maricopa Association of Governments will be inefficient in its use of public resources, ineffective at reducing traffic congestion and pollution, and unfair to county taxpayers. The county plans to spend $2.2 billion on light rail, an amount equivalent to one-third of the state's entire general fund budget. If legislators do not re-examine the county's numbers, they may make a mistake of gigantic proportions.