Some Ariz. lawmakers leery of stimulus money

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PHOENIX -- The prospect of the state getting big buckets of federal stimulus money elicits contrasting views from Arizona legislators facing tough decisions to keep the state budget in the black.

Some view it as a lifeboat for schools and other state services, while others warn that it could be a crutch that just delays a reckoning with the state's underlying fiscal weakness.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer takes a middle approach. She says she wants to know what strings may be attached but sees a potential for using federal dollars "to help us out of this dire time that Arizona faces."

Arizona legislators included $500 million in stimulus money in a $1.6 billion midyear package of cuts and other changes to keep the current budget in the black.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)