Treasurer Dean Martin Calls for Responsible Fiscal Action

One of the additional backup services my bank provides me is an email alert when my balance dips below a certain threshhold. Sure, its not very personal but it does let me know when I need to throw some money in the account and/or watch my spending when I haven’t balanced my checkbook.

Yesterday, out Republican State Treasurer issued the following press release. I’m very pleased that someone is doing their job in State Government, acting responsible and looking out for the taxpayers of Arizona.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2008
Contact:  Kimberly Yee, (602) 604-7882

Trasurer Dean Martin Addresses General Fund Crisis
General Fund in the Red in Five Weeks – Urges Governor & Legislature to Act Quickly

(STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX) – Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin today urged the Arizona Legislature and Governor to quickly reach an agreement to balance the FY 2008 budget.

“The General Fund of the State of Arizona will be running RED INK in as little as five weeks if a revised budget is not passed,” said Treasurer Dean Martin. “The government has simply been spending much faster than revenues are coming in.” 

“As State Treasurer, I essentially manage the State’s bank.  We currently have over $12.7 billion dollars in deposits invested, of which $5.2 billion are state funds.  We predicted this recession last year, and have been preparing our investment portfolio, including the rainy day fund accordingly.”

Martin continued, “We have structured our investments to ensure there is liquidity for both state and local governments to meet their cash needs during this economic downturn. As a bank we are in very good shape, but the Governor and Legislature have some work to do to make sure the General Fund account is not overdrawn in the next few weeks.”

“We have analyzed the current spending for the first 262 days of this fiscal year (as of March 18th), and the state has not slowed its rate of spending during this budget crisis.  The exact opposite has occurred; general fund spending is on a pace to even exceed the original FY 08 appropriation.” 
 
“At the current spending rate, the General Fund only has enough revenue to make one more payment to schools, and perhaps three more paydays for employees before the account is overdrawn at the bank.”

“The state has already spent over $7.6 billion of the General Fund; that is over $29 million per day.  Meanwhile revenues have continued to slide.  Both the Governor and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) have lowered their General Fund revenue estimates.  Without immediate intervention by the Governor and Legislature to pass a revised FY2008 budget, the General Fund will be overdrawn as soon as April 23 but no later than May 5,” Martin said.

“While the State does have other funds in other accounts, as Treasurer I do not have statutory authority to move money from the State’s other accounts to cover their deficit; only the Legislature and the Governor can move those funds through an appropriation.  They need to act quickly before the General Fund account is overdrawn.”   

State Treasurer Dean Martin is the Chief Financial Officer for Arizona, third in succession to the Governor, overseeing $12.7 billion in assets under management.  Treasurer Martin has opened government finances to the public on his website AzTreasury.gov.  Last fiscal year, Treasurer Martin made taxpayers over $730 million and increased investment earnings by 24% over the previous administration.

Here are some supporting documents:
Press Release – Treasurer’s Office, March 19, 2008
Treasurer’s Presentation on Budget Crisis
Treasurer’s Memo: Cash Balance


Comments

  1. Antifederalist says

    Hey, Napolitano, if Dean is a “sideplayer” and isn’t privy to the spending reductions your administrative agencies have been engaging in, why don’t you put your money where your big, fat, ugly mouth is and make the Arizona taxpayer aware of exactly what your administrative agencies are spending? And if your agencies aren’t going to spend everything they were given, let’s see them return some of their money to the general fund this instant to help with the impending red ink. Truth of the matter is that you’re angry because Dean is right: you and the legislature are spending too much. Shut up and get to the people’s work of CUTTING SPENDING, you pink gorilla.

  2. Iris Lynch says

    ditto

  3. Transparency has arrived at the Treasurer’s Office! Martin’s proactive announcement on the state of Arizona finances are especially irritating to dems because of their mindset of “Just everyone be quiet, the public does not need to know, we will eventually take care of everybody.” With officials like Martin, the Arizona public is getting the information we were intended to have. And with the information, we have the opportunity to influence solutions. Sorriest comment of the day “He just wants a headline.”-Gov. Napolitano

    No Gov. He is informing the Public of information you would rather government held close to the vest. We would rather you threw around solutions as easily as you throw around insults to the 3rd highest office holder in the state. And quit vetoing viable improvements only because Republicans brought them forward.

  4. Buddy Breon says

    Dean Martin has once again shown himself to be a man of the people. He wants things done right.

    For the governor to be so critical simply reinforces what he had to say. If Martin were so wrong, she would just dismiss him and ignore his remarks. She can’t ignore the truth, so she tries to silence it.

    Martin is too strong a voice for her. The racket on the 9th Floor must be unbearable for Janet Napolitano. She is starting to come apart on the budget, even cursing at staff and visitors over it, according to sources close to the action. All she wants is to borrow and get out of office with everything “looking” ok, but ready to fall apart shortly after she leaves.

    Napolitano has been a disaster for Arizona. We need more men like Dean Martin to stop the nonsense. Martin wouldn’t sit still for only a 1% cut in spending when revenues drop by more than 10%. Why does Napolitano ignore it?

  5. Sandy Faygubla says

    And what does the state TREASURER have to do with the State Budget. He should butt out and let our true leaders like Jim Weirs fix the problem. He is only making this worse.

  6. Sandy F., The State Treasurer never made any claim to influencing the state budget. Our Honorable Treasurer said “Hey Citizens, Governor, Legislature (but most importantly Citizens)here is something you may like to know: “At this spending/income rate we are scheduled to run out of spendable cash on this date.” Fantastic job by the Treasurer! Let’s hope he continues to take a proactive role in keeping the taxpayers informed. Open government is a GOOD thing. Thank You Treasurer Martin! P.S. Mary Jo Pritzl’s account on Horizon Friday night. The Treasurer sent an Easter Basket to the Gov. Friday morning with a CD of Chicken Little. The Treasurer included a note that said he hated to ruin the ending….but, Chicken Little is proven right. Viva Dean Martin!

  7. Sandy F., Dean Martin campaigned on the promise he would open the state’s finances to the light of day (he called it sunshine). And you certainly have to admit he is doing that. The state’s finances are opening up to the taxpayers thanks to this Treasurer.

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