"Any budget is better than no budget" has been the mantra driving the state the past several years from record surpluses to record deficits. This year is no exception. To quote Phil Lopes, "What gives me comfort is that, in the 96 years of the state's existence, we have never not had a budget." Oh, boy! What comfort!
So here we go again. The House proposal taxes us out of their mess by slapping us with a $500 million bond to pay off part of the debt. That really took some guts. The whole idea of bonding is to pay for high cost long term growth and infrastructure needs, not an easy out to bail out a state government drunk with the peoples' money.
Not to be outdone, the Senate gets much more creative. They simple starve the public schools long enough to push expenditures into next year. That's certainly a creative way to build the future of Arizona. Of course, by that time, some esteemed state Senators will be on to bigger and better things, so why not push the problem off to the next round of freshmen legislators?
Only one week to go and two things appear certain: a budget will be passed and the deficit will remain.