What can Arizona lawmakers learn from guru of personal finance Suze Orman? Plenty. Orman's mantra is people first, then money, then things, which is pretty much the opposite of what we heard on Monday in the Governor's annual State of the State address.
Governor Janet Napolitano proposed 12 new government programs and initiatives for the state, in addition to the expansion of several existing programs. These proposed new and expanded programs are offered at a time when Arizona faces a $1.25 billion structural deficit.
The new programs proposed range from providing free community college tuition to every child in Arizona who makes at least a B average in high school to expanding the states health care program for children up to the age of 25.
While things were covered extensively, the Governor didn't make much mention of money. She offered no details on how the state will pay for the new programs and only mentioned one cost saving measure to address the current budget deficit. The Governor also offered no plan for rejuvenating Arizona's lagging economy.
The people also got the short shrift. Not one proposal was made to make it easier for the people of Arizona to provide for themselves.
Over the coming days the Goldwater Institute will provide analysis on the proposed new programs and their potential costs to taxpayers. We will also provide recommendations that respect the freedom of the people of this state first, then address the states money troubles, then propose things the government can do to make our lives better. The people first, then money, then things.
Starlee Rhoades is the vice president of communications at the Goldwater Institute.
Governor Janet Napolitano: State of the State Address
Arizona Republic: Napolitano focuses on future