Here are the news stories that we are following today. Please, if we have missed one, let us know! Commentary will arrive later today.
Arizona Daily Star
§ County officials foresee tax increase
§ AZ sales tax collections declined again in March
§ Montana set to challenge gun control
§ Charter change would tie officials’ hands
§ Catalina Foothills crisis is rooted at Legislature
Arizona Daily Sun
§ City layoffs down to a dozen
In the end, it will be an even dozen. That’s how many Flagstaff city employees are likely to be laid off starting July 1, City Manager Kevin Burke said Wednesday.
§ FUSD readies budget override
Flagstaff Unified School District officials are taking the first steps toward putting a budget override on this fall’s ballot.
§ Maricopa Co. checking its take-home fleet
PHOENIX (AP) — In these tough economic times, Maricopa County is assessing the need for taking a county-owned car home.
§ State treasurer sheds light on Ariz.’s loans
Arizona’s first foray in borrowing in its modern history cost just over $38,500 in interest, state Treasurer Dean Martin reports. He warned that more borrowing is on the horizon as the state grapples with budget shortfalls.
§ Bennett unsold on Gov. Brewer’s tax plan
Secretary of State Ken Bennett, whom Brewer appointed to his current job, parted company with his patron on the tax-increase issue, saying he could not swallow a central piece of the governor’s plan to address a $3 billion budget shortfall for 2010.
§ One U.S. agency didn’t get memo about openness
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has ignored repeated requests from The Arizona Republic for information about sexual assaults. The BIA needs to release its investigative records and save time, taxpayer dollars and embarrassment.
§ Group challenges state to ‘expect more’
To combat the quite-real perception that too many Arizonans are indifferent to quality education, a business-education-philanthropic coalition has launched ”Expect More Arizona,” a campaign to entice the state’s students and parents to raise their performance expectations.
The Daily Courier
§ Cities worry about state plans for local impact fees
§ State water agency faces 56-percent cut
East Valley Tribune
§ Ariz. Democrats assail Republicans over flu
House Democrats are trying to make political hay out of the swine flu outbreak, saying Republican budget cuts have left Arizonans more at risk.
Phoenix Business Journal
The Arizona Department of Transportation is one of the first state agencies to start awarding contracts with stimulus money. The Phoenix Business Journal will have extended coverage of the stimulus efforts and the economy starting in this week’s edition.
Sierra Vista Herald
FORT HUACHUCA — More than $4.5 million of federal economic recovery funds have been approved for eight construction projects aimed at making the fort more energy efficient, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office said Wednesday.