The latest edition of BusinessWeek names Arizona's budget shortfall the country's second worst, as a percentage of the state's general fund. California (showoffs, pfft!) takes the top spot. Based on data compiled late last month by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, BusinessWeek found that the potential cost for 31 states facing shortfalls could reach a combined $53 billion. Arizona's portion of that is $2 billion, the size of the deficit that lawmakers and Gov. Janet Napolitano closed with the fiscal 2009 budget signed into law in late June. That represents 20 percent of the state's general fund. But a worsening of the economy in the months since has led budget analyists to speculate that the budget will again be in the red to the tune of $500 million to $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year, June 30. That means more cutting or additional revenue (taxes and fees). Take your pick. http://www.usmessageboard.com/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=49 What a dubious honor to be number two in budget shortfall. It was announced yesterday that the Gov. and the mayor of Phoenix will be forced to cut back police and fire because of this budget shortfall. I will reserve my comments for the moment as this subject hits home directly.