Arizona's finances appear to be in solid shape headed into the new year. But Republican state lawmakers say that's no reason to start spending more money.
At the annual Arizona Tax Research Association conference last week, Joint Legislative Budget Committee Director Richard Stavneak said Gov. Doug Ducey and the Legislature can expect to kick off the legislative session and budget process in January about $555 million in the black. He estimated $218 million of that could be used for ongoing new expenditures without putting the state into a financial hole.
Ducey said he was proud to have helped get the state back in the black with his budget this year.
"We inherited a $1 billion budget deficit," he said. "I made an unwavering pledge to get our budget in balance. We took our medicine and we balanced the budget in my first year."
He promised to keep the budget balanced as long as he's in office.