Governor delivers State of the State address - Prescott
Friday, January 25, 2013
PRESCOTT, AZ (January 25, 2013) Governor Jan Brewer delivered her annual State of the State address on Tuesday, January 22, at the Prescott Resort. Prescott and Prescott Valley Chambers of Commerce co-hosted the event, which brought 112 visitors from local businesses and municipalities.
Highlights of the speech include the governor's commitment to reform the state's sales tax code and provide funding for 150 additional Child Protective Services workers. She has already submitted an emergency budget request to fund 50 of the positions immediately.
City officials are extremely concerned about the Governor's support for the elimination of the construction sales tax. Billed as a tax simplification issue, this change would result in approximately $1.5 million each year in lost revenue to the City of Prescott - a severe blow to Prescott's ability to provide important services. Additionally, the proposal would centralize local tax collection and auditing with the state's Department of Revenue. This underfunded agency rarely conducts audits outside Maricopa County, has a limited ability to collect and report certain important economic data and results in a lag in tax payments to the City.
Though Governor Brewer opposed President Obama's healthcare plan, she acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling and commented that for now, the state would have to comply. The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will allow for healthcare coverage for individuals up to 133 percent of the poverty line. Brewer indicated that by rejecting the plan, no federal dollars would be saved nor be directed to reduce the deficit; rather, the funds would be passed to another state, generating jobs and providing health care for citizens in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico or any other expansion state. By complying, $2 billion will be injected into Arizona's economy. She pointed out a circuit breaker within the plan, which would automatically roll back enrollment if federal reimbursement rates decreased. "I won't allow ObamaCare to become a bait-and-switch," she said.
Brewer touched on the recovering housing market and current economic climate. "Our budget is now balanced, and we've set aside 450 Million dollars in the state's rainy-day fund for the next time crisis strikes," said Brewer. She closed with a call for constituents to contact their legislative representatives and support her in her efforts during this session.
For further information, contact Mel Preston, 777.1362.