Ariz. lawmakers plot early session push on budget

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona House and Senate leaders plan to place embargoes of varying degrees on most non-budget legislation early in their 2009 session to help lawmakers focus on the state's fiscal crisis.

Also, the session's first week will include a program of briefings and presentations intended to put the origins of the budget problem and its possible solutions front and center before lawmakers.

The incoming House and Senate leaders described their plans in separate interviews Monday with The Associated Press.

The leaders said the emphasis is necessary because of the gravity of the budget crisis.

The state faces a projected $1.2 billion shortfall in the current $9.9 billion budget, and budget analysts say the next year's shortfall could range up to $3 billion.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)