Arizona Legislature Closes $300 Million Gap, But Deal Could Come Apart

Williamson, Richard
March 2003
Bond Buyer;3/19/2003, Vol. 343 Issue 31596, p5
Trade Publication
Arizona lawmakers have covered a 300 million dollar budget gap in 2003 fiscal year but legal challenges to some of the measures resorted to by the Legislature could unravel the deal, which was approved in a one-day special session on March 17, 2003. In a challenge before the state Supreme Court, Libertarian activist Ernie Hancock claims that the “educational rollover ” — pushing 191 million dollars in June payments owed to public schools into fiscal 2004 beginning July 1 — violates the constitutional limit on state indebtedness because it carries a financial liability into a new fiscal year. Another element of the deal allows the state to borrow 100 million dollars from a fund for construction of new schools and applies the money to a court-mandated program to bring existing public schools up to uniform physical standards by June 30, 2004. The Arizona School Facilities Board that oversees construction of all public schools had proposed issuing 280 million dollar


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