Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services | Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:00 am
PHOENIX - Without a vote to spare, the House on Tuesday gave final approval to putting the state in debt for the next 20 years to balance the books this year.
The 31-27 vote came over objections by lawmakers from both parties who had different reasons they did not like the plan. But a majority said they saw little alternative.
Rep. Nancy McLain, R-Bullhead City, said the state's position is not unlike one she faced during the recession of the early 1990s with her janitorial firm.
First she and her husband stopped taking a salary, then borrowed against a bank line of credit until that was exhausted, then maxed out the credit cards, just to stay afloat, she said.
Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, said he also has run into situations as the owner of McDonald's restaurant franchises, and recognizes there is a place for debt. But this is excessive.
"Never, never, never do you take a 20-year note to meet payroll," he said. "This is absolutely, totally irresponsible."