Arizona Economy

Stuart Kinlough/Getty Images/Ikon Images

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- The state's jobless rate shrank by close to 45 percent last month.
At a press conference Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey called the announcement of a 5.9 percent seasonally adjusted employment rate ``a really good sign that people are getting back to work.''
But there may be less there than meets the eye.

Victor Calderón/KAWC

Republicans in the state House voted Wednesday to allow employers to pay less to student workers under 22 years old. Students at Arizona Western College in Yuma say this would cause a financial burden for student workers.

Craig Fry / Arizona Western College

By Howard Fischer - Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Claiming voters intended higher minimum wages only for families, Republicans in the state House voted Wednesday to allow employers to pay less to some people younger than 22.

Arizona House Republicans released their state budget framework Thursday.  It includes a larger and quicker teacher pay raise than the one proposed by Governor Doug Ducey in next year’s budget and returns monies to the state highway fund.

But Legislative Democrats say neither proposal goes far enough to repair the harm caused by years of cuts to education and other programs. They made their case at a budget town hall in Yuma this weekend. 

Should Arizona reform the state tax code by eliminating the personal income tax?   Some economists at Arizona State University say that is exactly what the state should do.

A recent editorial and new research at ASU’s Center for the Study of Economic Freedom suggest residents and small business owners would be better off without a personal income tax, but critics say revenue alternatives for state coffers could disproportionately impact the poor.

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