Arizona budget slashing reshapes state

[Source: Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic] – Arizona’s budget deficits were like a house on fire, lawmakers say, and they responded in kind, dousing the fiscal flames without time to weigh the possible impact.

The aftermath of cuts stretching over four budget years is a smaller state government that affects Arizonans from all walks of life – there are higher university-tuition bills, fewer social services and larger classroom sizes.

But those consequences weren’t most important to lawmakers, according to interviews with nearly a dozen Republican legislators involved in budget talks. Instead, legislators focused on cutting spending to match dwindling state tax collections [to read full article click here].

Arizona agencies get creative to cope with budget cutbacks

[Source: Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic] –  Since mid-2008, legislators have cut $3.4 billion from state spending.

Most of the cuts were lump-sum reductions. Rather than get into the nitty-gritty of myriad state programs, lawmakers left the details to state agencies. And those agencies responded to the smaller budgets in a variety of ways – from imposing fees on users to ending some services.

The agencies also had to adjust to the consequences of programs being terminated, from juggling lawsuits to referring people to non-profits or other groups that might be able to fill the gaps.

The following examples detail ways state government has responded to a budget that is 20 percent smaller than what it was four years ago [to read the full article click here].

Arizona State Parks budget among the losers

Budget cuts...ouch!

[Source: Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, July 6, 2008] — Winning and losing is sometimes a matter of perspective.  In terms of the state budget, it is more accurately measured in terms of who got funding and who didn’t.  Some details from the fiscal 2009 state budget approved in late June:

HAVE NOT: State Parks Department.  A fund used to pay for improvements at state lakes, such as docks, moorings, and other infrastructure, is cut by $6.3 million.  In addition, the department must cut $250,000 from its operating budget.

[Note: To read the full article, click here.]