Arizona state budget (2010-2011)

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Find the state’s FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government online.[1]

2011 State spending & deficit in billions[2]
Total spending Healthcare Education Protection Economic security Other
$8.4 $1.7 $4.4 $1.1 $.67 $.6
2011 Local spending & deficit in billions[3]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Deficit
$38.8 $0.3 $1.3 $10.6 $0.8 $4.5 $3.3 $50.2

At the end of FY2011, Arizona's revenues had increased 11.6 percent over FY2010, making the first time in four years that the state saw tax collections rise. The largest increase in tax collections came from one-time gains in the individual income tax, rather than from more people getting jobs and paying state income tax. [4] This increase in revenue was separate from the temporary 1-cent-per-dollar increase in the state sales tax that was in effect at the time. That increase generated $873 million, which the state accounted for separately since it was slated to expire in two years. The money generated at the end of FY2011 was in line with projections made in spring 2010.[4]

In April 2011, lawmakers approved a budget plan that assumed the state would end FY2011 with a $332 million deficit, and planned to transfer money from the FY 2012 budget to fill that hole. At the conclusion of FY2011, however, budget officials determined that the FY2011 deficit was closer to $32 million, requiring a smaller transfer than initially anticipated. [4]

Partly due to medicaid costs, the state had to cut funding for higher education to $682M, down from $1.2B in 2008.[5]

Arizona requested that the most populous counties in the state make a mandatory "contribution" to Arizona's general fund to help fill the budget gaps. Maricopa, Pima, Mohave, Pinal and Yavapai counties gave the state a combined $38.6 million.[6]

Budget transparency

See also: Evaluation of Arizona state website or Constitutional provisions regarding reading of bills

Arizona had a website that tracks government spending, Arizona OpenBook.

Arizona did not had a constitutional provision providing a legislative review period.

Government tools

This table can be used to evaluate the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State Database Searchability Grants Contracts Line Item Expenditures Dept/Agency Budgets Public Employee Salary
[;jsessionid=360D420FA948AFDE0B25504C529F842C Arizona OpenBook]
600px-Red x.png
  • The service had an "Advanced Search" function.[7]
  • All expenditures were viewable as individual line item expenses.
  • The page links to the Executive Branch website, which contains department and agency budgets.[8]
  • Salary totals per department were available through the State Treasurer's AZ Checkbook.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

Transparency legislation

Main article: Arizona transparency legislation

Multi-Measure Budget Transparency Profile

The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois created a multi-measure transparency profile for Arizona, which measured state transparency as of September 2011 using indicators from a range of organizations. These indicators measured both website transparency and other recognized facets of governmental transparency. In addition, IGPA presented 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.[12][13]

In addition to the individual state profile, IGPA offers a 50-state comparison and profiles for other states.[14][15]

Budget background

See also: Arizona state budget

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 – had 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 was comparable committee for capital issues.

State Constitution

While Arizona had a balanced budget provision, the Arizona Constitution allows shortfalls to carry over to the next fiscal year.

Article 9, sections 4 and 5 read:

“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.”[16]
“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 had 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.”[17]

Accounting principles

See also: Arizona government accounting principles

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. The Auditor General’s Office publishes their audits and must:

  • ascertain whether public entities were making wise use of their resources—public money, personnel, property, equipment, and space;
  • determine whether public entities were 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.[18]

Arizona Revised Statutes §41-1279 established the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). Among other duties, it was 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.[19]

Credit Ratings

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Arizona[20] NR Aa1 AA+

Public Employees

See also: Arizona public pensions and Arizona public employee salaries

According to 2008 Census data, the state of Arizona and local governments in the state employed a total of 373,696 people,[21] up from a total of 352,500 state and local government employees in 2007.[22] 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.[21] More than 59% of those employees, or 221,264 employees, were in education or higher education.[21]

See also

External links

Additional reading