"Back in Black:" State No Longer Borrowing to Pay Daily Expenses

Like a king-sized overdraft protection program, Treasury Warrant Notes helped cover Arizona's daily living expenses for 12 days starting April 15. But now the state is "back in black," reports state treasurer Dean Martin.

Martin announced today that the state had spent about $38,000 in interest for the notes, used to make sure the checks flowed for teachers, state employees, and taxpayers who were due a refund. The state's operating funds now have a positive balance of $43 million, which "just barely" puts Arizona in the black.

Martin, who frequently criticized former Governor Janet Napolitano for her spending habits, took the opportunity to do so again in his news release.

But he also made it clear that responsibility for the future was in the hands of current power players.

"As long as the state continues to spend more than it makes, this will happen again," he wrote in a prepared statement. "Legislative action is needed to address the state's cash flow deficiencies."

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.