Arizona state budget
|Signed into law||May 7, 2012|
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the state's $8.6 billion FY2013 budget into law on May 7, 2012.  When accounting for both the general fund and non-general fund monies, the state’s “all funds” budget is $27.8 billion.
Arizona operates on an annual budget cycle. Its fiscal year begins July 1, and it is in FY2013.
Arizona has a total state debt of approximately $56,034,326,000, when calculated by adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Unemployment Trust Fund loans, and 2013 budget gap. That figure is down from the prior year's debt total of $59,220,240,000.
Arizona's total state debt per capita is $8,643.93.
According to a 2012 study by 24/7 Wall Street, Arizona is the 47th worst run state taking into account debt per capita, budget deficits, unemployment, median household income, and the percentage of the percentage of the population below the poverty line. The best run state is North Dakota and the worst run state is California. 
A new Fraser Institute report on economic freedom ranks Arizona 29th in economic Freedom. Delaware ranks 1st and New Mexico ranks 50th. The study examines the impact of economic freedom on both the level of economic activity and the growth of economic activity. According to the study, the freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying upon personal choice and markets to answer basic economic questions. More governmental restrictions on those choices curbs economic freedom. The study looks at three major categories per state – size of government, taxes and regulations. 
FY2013 State Budget
The state’s FY 2013 General Fund budget is $8.57 billion, but after accounting for non-General Fund monies, the state’s “all funds” budget is $27.8 billion.
- $89 million to K-12 education, including $40 million for a program to ensure that students are ready to read by third grade and and $15 million in Capital Outlay Revenue Limit;
- $21million for universities;
- $39 million for the seriously mentally ill;
- $20 million for the construction of 500 new state-run maximum-security prison beds and $16 million for 1,000 new private-prison beds.
- $17 million for automation projects.
The Finance Advisory Committee told lawmakers that the projected surplus for FY2013 was $143 million. The temporary one-cent-per-dollar increase in the sales tax expires on May 31, 2013, with one month left in the fiscal year. Economists project that the state will be in the red anywhere from $610 million to $1.2 billion in FY2014.
Mortgage Settlement Funds
The state enacted a law in May 2012 permitting $50 million of the $97.8 million the state received in the mortgage foreclosure settlement with major banks to be transferred to the state's general fund for FY2013.
The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court to block the transfer of funds to the general fund budget.
Legislative Proposed Budget
On Feb. 20, 2012, Republic leaders released their $8.65 billion proposed budget, 18 hours before committees were to review the budget. Democrats said that Republicans were being sneaky and expressed frustration about the quick speed at which they were expected to decide on the budget. Gov. Jan Brewer said that she would not sign the budget should it reach her desk.
The legislative budget spends $300 million less than the governor's proposed budget and the legislative budget sets aside $200 million in 2013 to retire some debt early. 
In April, Republicans said that they were close to reaching a budget agreement with Gov. Brewer but they released no details. Democrats said that they were not at the table but that the plan would reflect some of their ideas.
Governor's Proposed Budget
Gov. Jan Brewer announced in Dec. 2011 that the state was not facing a deficit in FY2013, the first time the state was not facing a deficit for the coming fiscal year. Instead, budget director John Arnold anticipates a "temporary surplus" of between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion for FY2013. As a result, Brewer said that the state would not be asking the largest counties to make a mandatory donation to the state's general fund as it has done for several years.
The governor's proposed budget can be found here. The governor's $8.96 billion budget proposal would give state workers their first pay raise in five years if they opt out of the state's personnel system, and tends to Arizona's ailing technological infrastructure. It also saves $600 million for emergencies.
FY2012 State Budget
- See past state budgets
The stat ended FY2012 with a $379 million surplus. The budget already assumed a $122 million surplus, tax revenue generated $145 million more than anticipated and spending was $112 million less than anticipated. Spending was less due in part to lower school enrollment and few adults without children enrolling in Medicaid. In Dec. 2011, legislative budget staffers forecasted that the state would end the fiscal year with more than $400 million in the bank.
The state’s FY 2012 General Fund budget is $8.32 billion. After accounting for non-General Fund monies, the state’s “all funds” budget is $26.9 billion. The state's $8.3 billion FY2012 general fund budget relied primarily on cuts to eliminate a projected $1.1 billion shortfall. Gov. Brewer signed it into law on April 6, 2011. Using those cuts, the budget eliminates a projected $1.1 billion shortfall. The budget is 20% smaller than it was four years ago.
- $198 million from universities, approximately a 40% reduction in state support to the schools from the past thee years
- $183.2 million from K-12 schools
- nearly $72.9 million from community colleges
- $50.4 million from the state's social-service agency
The Legislature also approved these FY 2012 budget actions:
- $1.1 billion in new reductions, including $524 million from Medicaid waiver plan savings;
- $172 million in new fund transfers (in addition to $85 million in the Baseline for a total of $256 million);
- $53 million in other revenue, including $22 million for a one-time Tax Amnesty Program;
- $66 million cash payments or redirected local revenue (in addition to $35 million in the Baseline for a total of $101 million);
- $70 million in additional base revenue above the Baseline estimate, including the Legislature's adoption of revenue growth rates of 5.6% in FY 2011 and 5.7% in FY 2012.
In FY2012, the state deposited $250 million into the state's Budget Stabilization Fund (“Rainy Day Fund”). In FY2010 and FY2011, the fund's balance had been $0.
For FY2012, Arizona devoted 27.1% of its total spending to education, up from 26.5% in FY2009.
|Fiscal Year||Total Spending||Education Spending||Percent Education Spending|
|2009||$53.5 billion||$14.2 billion||26.5%|
|2010||$55.2 billion||$14.3 billion||25.9%|
|2011||$52.9 billion||$14.0 billion||26.4%|
|2012||$50.9 billion||$13.8 billion||27.1%|
The budget's heath care bill stated that the Legislature supported restoration of transplant coverage and authorized Brewer to make changes to the Medicaid program to fit services and eligibility standards to available funding.
The biggest cut reduces state funding for the Medicaid program by $510 million. Freezes proposed by Brewer would reduce Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System's enrollment by approximately 138,000 people in the next year. The reductions would come in enrollment categories that are above federally required minimums. The program now serves approximately 1.3 million low-income people, or 20% of Arizonans. The state plans to limit adult Medicaid recipients to 25 days of hospital coverage a year effective at the end of October 2011.
The cuts would save $207 million in FY2012.
Opponents challenged whether Gov. Brewer had legal authority to limit enrollment in Medicaid. A state court ruled on Aug. 11, 2011, that she can legally reduce enrollment in Arizona's Medicaid program to help balance the state budget..
- See also: Evaluation of Arizona state website or Constitutional provisions regarding reading of bills or find transparency legislation at the Sunshine Standard
Arizona has a website that tracks government spending, Arizona OpenBook.
Arizona does not have a constitutional provision providing a legislative review period.
This table can be used to evaluate the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:
|State Database||Searchability||Grants||Contracts||Line Item Expenditures||Dept/Agency Budgets||Public Employee Salary|
- The service has an "Advanced Search" function.
- All expenditures are viewable as individual line item expenses.
- The page links to the Executive Branch website, which contains department and agency budgets.
- Salary totals per department are available through the State Treasurer's AZ Checkbook.
Arizona checkbook register
In February of 2010 the state began posting its checkbook register online, dubbing the website AZCheckbook. The checkbook shows a snapshot of the daily total deposits and withdrawals from the State's Operating Account. State Treasurer Dean Martin launched the website wanting it to be searchable, user-friendly website that discloses all revenues and expenditures for Arizona State government.
House Bill 2572 would require an online database of state and local spending.
Multi-Measure Budget Transparency Profile
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois has created a multi-measure transparency profile for Arizona, which measures state transparency as of September 2011 using indicators from a range of organizations, including Sunshine Review. These indicators measure both website transparency and other recognized facets of governmental transparency. In addition, IGPA presents four unique indicators of non-transparency based on the observation that transfers or reassignments between general and special funds can obscure the true fiscal condition of a state.
The Governor releases a budget proposal shortly after each session of the Legislature convenes (2nd Monday in January). The Joint Legislative Committee (JLBC) then releases its estimate of baseline spending. The JLBC:
- 8 members from each house.
- Chairmanship rotates between 2 Appropriations Committee Chairmen.
- Committee meets monthly – has 188 statutory responsibilities.
- Publishes a monthly update on revenue collections and other fiscal issues.
- Especially during the interim between sessions, the JLBC provides legislative oversight of state fiscal issues.
- The Joint Committee on Capital Review is comparable committee for capital issues.
While Arizona is viewed as having a balanced budget provision, the Arizona Constitution allows shortfalls to carry over to the next fiscal year.
“The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of July in each year. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be published annually, in such manner as shall be provided by law. Whenever the expenses of any fiscal year shall exceed the income, the legislature may provide for levying a tax for the ensuing fiscal year sufficient, with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency, as well as the estimated expenses of the ensuing fiscal year.”
“The state may contract debts to supply the casual deficits or failures in revenues, or to meet expenses not otherwise provided for; but the aggregate amount of such debts, direct and contingent, whether contracted by virtue of one or more laws, or at different periods of time, shall never exceed the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and the money arising from the creation of such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which it was obtained or to repay the debts so contracted, and to no other purpose. In addition to the above limited power to contract debts the state may borrow money to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the state in time of war; but the money thus raised shall be applied exclusively to the object for which the loan shall have been authorized or to the repayment of the debt thereby created. No money shall be paid out of the state treasury, except in the manner provided by law.”
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which oversees all audit functions of the Arizona Legislature, provides direction for the Auditor General’s Office. Subject to approval by a majority vote of both legislative houses, the Committee also appoints the Auditor General for a 5-year renewable term. Debra K. Davenport has been the Auditor General since 1999. The Auditor General’s Office publishes online their audits and must:
- ascertain whether public entities are making wise use of their resources—public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space;
- determine whether public entities are complying with applicable laws, regulations, and governmental accounting and financial and reporting standards;
- define standards and establish procedures for accounting and budgeting, as the Legislature requires; and
- provide technical assistance to state and local governmental entities.
Arizona Revised Statutes §41-1279 established the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). Among other duties, it is charged to:
- Oversee all audit functions of the legislature and state agencies including sunset, performance, special and financial audits, special research requests and the preparation and introduction of legislation resulting from audit report findings.
- Appoint an auditor general subject to approval by a concurrent resolution of the legislature and direct the auditor general to perform all sunset, performance, special and financial audits and investigations.
- Require state agencies to comply with findings and directions of the committee regarding sunset, performance, special and financial audits.
Arizona has received $3.1 billion in federal funding.
According to 2008 Census data, the state of Arizona and local governments in the state employed a total of 373,696 people, up from a total of 352,500 state and local government employees in 2007. Of those 373,696 employees in 2008, 289,646 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $1,211,330,199 per month and 84,050 were part-time employees paid $92,659,917 per month. More than 59% of those employees, or 221,264 employees, were in education or higher education.
- State Budget Solutions, Arizona
- Model transparency legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council is available at this link.
- The Goldwater Institute
- Arizona state budget, joint legislative budget committee
- Arizona state and local spending
- Arizona Office of the State Treasurer, Distributions
- Arizona Department of Administration, SPIRIT Automated eProcurement System
- Arizona Treasury Revenue Distributions database
- Arizona Executive Budget 2011
- State of Arizona,"Gov. Jan Brewer - State of the State Address 2010," January 11, 2010
- Budget information for Arizona's Maricopa Community College system is available here.
- CNN Money,"CCA Reports Arizona Budget Proposals to Phase Out Utilization of Private Prisons Outside of Arizona," January 21, 2010
- The Arizona Republic,"Schools prepare for worst-case budget scenario," March 7,2009
- Arizona Capitol Times,"State, federal cigarette taxes to hit $3 per pack on April 1," March 11,2009
- East Valley Tribune,"State can fix mess with spending discipline," December 27, 2009
- ↑ The Arizona Republic "Brewer signs budget approved by Legislature" May 7, 2012
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Joint Legislative Budget Committee FY2013 Appropriations Report
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' third annual State Debt Report shows total state debt over $4 trillion" Aug. 28, 2012
- ↑ State Budget Solution “Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion” Oct. 24, 2011
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "State debt more than $37,000 per private worker, $13,000 per capita" Oct. 2, 2012
- ↑ Yahoo, The Best- and Worst-Run States in America, Nov. 27, 2012
- ↑ Fraser Institute, Economic Freedom of North America 2012
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Arizona Republic "Brewer signs budget approved by Legislature" May 7, 2012
- ↑ The News Star "Budget turnarounds: Some states socking cash away" Jun 23, 2012
- ↑ Oct., 2011
- ↑ Oct., 2011
- ↑ Bloomberg "States Steal Federal Foreclosure Funds at Their Own Peril" July 4, 2012
- ↑ Arizona Legislature Senate Bill 1523 Signed May 7, 2012
- ↑ Businessweek "Judge considers use of mortgage settlement money" Aug. 23, 2012
- ↑ InsideTusconBusiness.com "GOP lawmakers unveil state budget and the clash begins" Feb. 23, 2012
- ↑ AZCentral.com "Legislative budget better than Brewer's" Feb. 24, 2012
- ↑ Tuscon Citizen "Arizona GOP: Accord on budget is near" April 26, 2012
- ↑ The Arizona Republic "Arizona won't raid counties' coffers" Dec. 16, 2011
- ↑ AZCentral.com "$8.96 billion budget proposal unveiled by Gov. Brewer" Jan. 13, 2012
- ↑ KPHO.com "AZ reports improved year-end budget figures" July 23, 2012
- ↑ Arizona Daily Sun "Senate looks to cut pension payments" Dec. 22, 2011
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee "Appropriations Report FY2012" May 2010
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 The Washington Examiner "Arizona gov signs budget with health care changes" April 8, 2011
- ↑ The East Valley Tribune "Brewer signs budget slashing education and health care, restoring transplant coverage" April 7, 2011
- ↑ The Arizona Republic "http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2011/10/01/20111001arizona-state-budget-cutbacks-creative-solutions.html#ixzz1Ziu054qL" Oct. 1, 2011
- ↑ The Arizona Republic "Arizona budget: Lawmakers question universities about funding" Feb. 3, 2011
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "Throwing Money At Education Isn't Working" Sept. 12, 2012
- ↑ USGovernmentSpending.com "Arizona Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
- ↑ http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1997_2017ALb_13s1li111mcn_20t USGovernmentSpending.com "Arizona Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
- ↑ USAToday.com "More states limiting Medicaid hospital stays" Oct. 23, 2011
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Businessweek "Judge allows cuts to Arizona's Medicaid program" Aug. 10, 2011
- ↑ AZOpenbooks, Advanced Search
- ↑ About Arizona Government
- ↑ AZ Checkbook Expenditures
- ↑ Arizona Checkbook.com
- ↑ ABC News, New website shows how Arizona is spending your tax dollars, February 16, 2009
- ↑ HB2572, 2011
- ↑ Arizona Constitution
- ↑ Arizona Constitution
- ↑ State of Arizona, Office of the Auditor General Web site, retrieved October 8, 2009
- ↑ State of Arizona, Office of the Auditor General Web site, retrieved October 8, 2009
- ↑ "State of Indiana", “State Credit Ratings-as of June 24, 2009
- ↑ Recovery, "Stimulus Spending by State"
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 44.2 2008 Arizona Public Employment U.S. Census Data
- ↑ 2007 Arizona Public Employment Data