Different polling shows either majority support or opposition to increasing the gasoline tax for infrastructure improvements. We’ll have a discussion on the concept of raising the tax with Tony Bradley, president and CEO of the Arizona Trucking Association, and Michael Hunter, vice president for state and fiscal affairs from the Goldwater Institute.
For six months, Arizona’s tax revenues have surged beyond what was expected. The state ended last fiscal year with $266 million extra in the bank. Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, will talk about the issue.
Arizona’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund hit the $5 Billion mark for the first time. Money earned from the trust fund goes to education, with the K-12 distribution for next fiscal year set at nearly $76 million, a 12 percent increase. Patty Humbert of the Arizona Treasurer’s Office will discuss the trust fund.
At the end of the last federal fiscal year, USDA Rural Development in Arizona reported a record $474 million in investment in housing funding for Arizona. That brought the five-year total to over $2 billion. Besides the housing funding, money was spent on tribes, towns, school districts, community centers, food banks, colleges, hospitals and small businesses. USDA Rural Development in Arizona State Director Alan Stephens will discuss how the funding has impacted the state.
The Arizona Commission on the Arts received a one-time budget allocation of $1 million for fiscal year 2014 from the state legislature. The new money will be used to support the commission’s existing statewide grant-making activities to promote arts education and access to nonprofit art organizations. It will also be used to create a pair of brand new grant programs designed to support innovative art initiatives. Arts Commission Executive Director Robert Booker will discuss the new funding.
Arizona has joined Fix the Debt, a nonpartisan campaign to encourage our leaders in Washington, D.C. to reach a comprehensive agreement on reforms that will improve America’s fiscal health. Learn more about the campaign from members of the Fix the Debt Arizona Steering Committee, former Arizona Attorney General and new CAP Board member, Terry Goddard, and Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
If the federal government steps over the “fiscal cliff” will it take Arizona with it? ASU Economist Dennis Hoffman talks about the local impact of federal spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January unless Congress intervenes.
The City of Phoenix’ municipal golf courses continue to lose money. During the 2011-12 fiscal year they operated at a deficit of $2.4 million. Hear from members of an ad hoc committee that has been appointed to search for solutions to the problem.
Republican Representative John Kavanagh, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; and Democratic Representative Chad Campbell, the House Minority Leader; debate the merits of the legislature’s budget plan for next fiscal year.
Senate Bill 1200, passed by state lawmakers and signed by the Governor, makes numerous changes to Arizona’s impaired driving laws. Hear from the bill’s sponsor Senator Linda Gray and Cliff Girard, a Phoenix defense attorney who has filed a referendum to stop part of that bill from going into effect.
Arizona is in a fiscal mess. To clean it up, the state will have to cut costs or raise revenue. Privatizing prisons might be a way to do both. Earlier this month, Governor Brewer signed House Bill 2010 which allows the state to start looking for a private company to operate one or more state prisons. Mike Duran, President of the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers' Association, and Ken Gilroy, Editor of "Privitization Watch" for the Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank that advances free market principles and limited government, debate the idea of private prisons.
A team of experts in finance and public administration from Arizona’s universities have released a report of options to help erase Arizona’s $3 billion budget shortfall. A member of the Fiscal Alternatives Choices Team talks about some of the options included in the FACT report.
Arizona's budget is $1.6 billion in the red, and that's just for this fiscal year. In the first of our four-part series on important issues before lawmakers, two state lawmakers debate over the best way to solve the budget deficit.