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  • Put Arizona on a Real Budget: New Spending Limit Can Restore State's Fiscal Health

    Posted on April 29, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach

    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.

  • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: A Case for Limiting Campaign Finance Regulations

    Posted on April 06, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Nick Dranias

    In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the federal government could prohibit a nonprofit corporation from showing a movie that criticized presidential candidate Hillary Clinton within 30 days of an election. Answering “yes” would have declared censorship of political speech is appropriate under the First Amendment.

  • $50 Billion Tidal Wave: How Unfunded Pensions Could Overwhelm Arizona Taxpayers

    Posted on March 31, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Andrew Biggs

    In a period when financial markets and institutions have appeared near collapse, the accounting methods used by public employee pensions effectively ignore risk. These accounting methods, which are used by public pensions in Arizona and around the country, allow pension fund managers to assume that high returns can be earned through stocks and other investments without taking any market risk. As a result, the true market value of Arizona pension shortfalls that must be funded by taxpayers is understated by around half of what the pension funds have reported.

  • Making Welfare Work: Reforming Arizona's Welfare System to Help Families and Save Money

    Posted on March 04, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Katherine K. Bradley

    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.

  • Budget Reduction Opportunities 2010

    Posted on March 03, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach

    In September 2009, Governor Jan Brewer asked each state agency to present a plan to reduce their budgets by 15 percent. The following is an assessment of each agency’s plan and whether there are more opportunities for savings. The departments are arranged in the order in which they appear in the master list of programs from the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. Most stand-alone boards and commissions, the so-called 90/10 agencies, are not included since they are self-funded through user fees.

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