November 24, 2009

The Master Practitioners group of the Phoenix PRSA Chapter welcomed Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett as its guest speaker, recently.

Bennett, who served eight years in the state senate, his last four as its president, provided a practical explanation about Arizona’s current budget crisis.   

Among his comments that resulted in heads nodding in agreement was:  “How you respond early in a crisis is key.” 

The Grand Canyon State is just one of 41 states with deficits, however, Arizona has one of the largest shortfall percentages.   Arizona’s budget faces a $3 billion shortfall, compared to California, which has a $26 billion deficit looming.

Here are some of the facts:  Overall, Arizona spends $33 billion per year.  The highest allocations are for K-12 education, $11 billion, and for health and welfare, such as AHCCCS, $10 billion.The Arizona general fund is expected to receive $7.6 billion in revenue this year, with expected expenditures of $10.7 billion.  Essentially, that’s where the $3 billion gap is.

You can check out a version of his presentation by clicking here. It’s pretty basic and highly informative.


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