AZ LEGISLATIVE SESSION JUST 4 WEEKS AWAY
posted by Michael Chihak
The Arizona Legislature will convene Jan. 9 in Phoenix and hear Gov. Jan Brewer's State of the State speech.
The legislative session comes as Arizona governmental finances are looking a little less precarious than they did during the last session. At that time, the governor and the Legislature took more than $1 billion out of state spending to erase a structural deficit that had been building for 15 years.
The deficit was created in part by the state's sorry economy, driven by the housing bubble burst, foreclosures and plummeting home prices.
In the larger, longer-range sense, the deficit came because state legislators had cut taxes a half-dozen times in the last 15 years without reducing spending.
Those big cuts may be over, at least for the time being. With sales taxes leading the way, the state's overall revenue picture is on the upswing. That's leading some legislators to rethink some of the drastic cuts they made last session.
For Friday's Arizona Week, we plan to speak with Arizona Senate President Steve Pierce, a Republican, and Arizona Rep. Matt Heinz, a Democrat and member of the House Appropriations Committee, about what they foresee.