Part of the reason Arizona is in such deep financial trouble today is that nothing was done sooner to ameliorate this deepening disaster.
Last fall, there were predictions the state would face an $800 million revenue shortfall by the end of the fiscal year.
Gov. Janet Napolitano proposed several solutions – modifying them as projections showed the shortfall growing. She urged legislators to come to some agreement on what should be done so she could call a special session and get the process started.
But lawmakers were in the midst of election campaigns and didn’t want to spend time at the Capitol. So the shortfall grew, unchecked.
Now the deficit is twice as large as it was in the fall. If consensus had been reached and cuts implemented sooner, they could have been spread over a far longer period.
It was a lost opportunity.