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Members Consider Creative Budget Solutions

Arizona’s budget deficit has hit unprecedented depths and the members of the Senate Republican Caucus are branching out from the ordinary budget process to address an extraordinary $3.3 billion budget shortfall. To date, Arizona’s economic forecast has continued in a disappointing downward trend. The picture remains dismal at best.

The faltering economy has hit Arizona hard. It is imperative that state government respond to this crisis the way many families and businesses have responded—by exploring all options and incorporating innovative solutions to bring the budget back into balance.

We must keep in mind that not all short-term options provide long-term solutions.

While we are taking full advantage of the short term aid provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), we need to be mindful of the severe restrictions and conditions required by the stimulus package. The ARRA does not address our state’s long-term structural budget deficit.

A tax increase in the midst of a severe and prolonged economic recession will impose a greater burden on families and businesses at a time when they can least sustain them. Tax increases should be passed only as a very last resort.

If we want to resolve this crisis without raising taxes, we need to do much more. And we have.

Senate Republicans have been working diligently and thoroughly to research areas of the state budget to identify spending priorities and opportunities for government to be more efficient. Much of that painstaking work will be reflected in the Senate’s budget proposal. We encourage you to visit frequently for updates on the FY2010 budget.

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