A billion dollar deficit is top of mind at the State Capitol as the 2015 Legislature convenes today. The state’s new Governor, Doug Ducey, has vowed to balance the budget without raising taxes. Democratic lawmakers, however, fear that he’ll cut funding to education, something they say the Arizona education system can’t afford.

Governor Ducey is expected to announce that he’ll seek a statewide government hiring freeze. His supporters in the legislature continue to express optimism that his business background will help to get the state back on solid financial footing. Some lawmakers have discussed legislation they plan to introduce—bills that would fund all-day kindergarten, and ban the use of food stamps in restaurants, while the lawmaker who proposed having Arizona observe daylight saving time has shelved that bill for now. Phil Lovas of Peoria says the feedback he’s received in the past week indicates the idea doesn’t have much support.

 
–Jeff Scott

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