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Napolitano outlines budget plans

Governor Janet Napolitano

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – Host Intro:

Governor Janet Napolitano said Wednesday she intends to
oppose any permanent cuts in basic state spending to
balance the budget. Arizona Public Radio's Howard
Fischer explains why.

The governor insisted she can bring this year's
expenses into line with the lower-than-expected
revenues through borrowing and raiding the state's
rainy day fund, with some spending cuts and deferring
some obligations into the following budget year. But a
new report by a panel of experts predicts the red ink
then could hit $1.8 billion without major and permanent
cuts. Napolitano however said they're not necessary.

(That question presumes a static economy. And the
history of Arizona is we go down and then we come up.
And our population continues to grow.)

She also said the state cannot spend less than it does
now because when the economy softens, the demand for
state services like free health care goes up.

(My budget will be balanced. It will not raise taxes.
It will cover those things, it will cover the vital
services that you asked about, and do it in such a
smart way that we don't, when we come out of the
economy, be spending all of our time making up for a
hole we dug for ourselves yet again.)

And the governor said she doesn't think its risky to
count on money not now available.

(I will always bet on the future of Arizona. I think
this state has a great future ahead of it and we need
to prepare for that and be laying the grounwork for
that every day.)

For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.