“Arizona is now 10 days into the 2010 fiscal year without a budget. In the aftermath of the governor’s budget vetoes, the Legislature acted responsibly with a temporary continuation of government spending to allow public schools to function and to maintain eligibility for federal funds.
The debate will continue as to whether the governor’s actions were rash or rational, but what is not in doubt is the size of the deficit. The fact of the matter is that general fund revenue projections total $7.13 billion, yet the current spending now totals $10.86 billion. This means that the Arizona’s general fund is running a deficit of $3.73 billion.
Earlier in the session, I described Arizona’s budget deficit as an all-hands-on-deck situation. This remains truer than ever. In the meantime, it is not helpful to sling recklessly exaggerated uses of words like “devastating” or “decimated.” As a case in point, no budget voted out of the Legislature this year reduced K-12 funding by more than 2.2% of its total funds.
I call on every branch of government, every agency, every political party, and every citizen of this state to continue working earnestly to solve the worst fiscal crisis in Arizona’s history.”