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In the September 14, 2007 CSA Update:

Register Now for the CSA 2007 Legislative Summit
Visit the CSA website to register for the 2007 CSA Legislative Summit, which will take place in Flagstaff on October 2-4.

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ruiz Named Border Counties Vice President
Three counties from Arizona attended the Border Counties Coalition Conference, held last week in Las Cruces, New Mexico. During the conference, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manny Ruiz was selected as Arizona's Vice President of the Coalition.


Supervisor Ruiz told CSA that he felt honored to be supported by his colleagues.  "The conference is important to border counties," he stated.  "It helps us get the data we need to show Washington the importance of the region, and to demonstrate our costs associated with federal issues, and costs to the local taxpayer. Reports generated on topics like health care provide us with great information and give us the tools we need to advocate for change. I would encourage fellow border supervisors to participate in the conference, but I also want to encourage my colleagues in other counties to take a look at the information on the Coalition's website."


The Coalition adopted four resolutions, including a proposed by Yuma County which emphasizes the importance of reducing crime and restoring environmental viability in the Yuma Limitrophe Area. The conference included a presentation on preparing for public health emergencies on the border, and an introduction to a report on the law enforcement costs of illegal immigration prepared by the University of Arizona's Tanis Salant. The full report is expected to be published this fall.

Supervisors Urge Reauthorization of Forest Funding
Supervisors Shirley Dawson (Gila) and Hector Reudas (Greenlee) met in Washington this week to urge Congress to pass a multi-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Determination Act before it expires on September 30, 2007.  The "fly-in," organized by the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition, illustrated the importance of this funding to rural communities across America.
"It was very positive to join with representatives from counties and school districts," Supervisor Ruedas stated.  "We're all focused on getting the same thing done, and most of our congressmen wanted to support the bill."
Over the life of the Act, rural communities and school districts have received more than $2 billion.  Arizona counties receive a total of more than $7 million each year, and will continue to urge their Congressional representatives to support the reauthorization of this important program.

Arizona Meth Project Kicks Off Phase Two
This week, Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley - co-chair of the Arizona Meth Project - unveiled Arizona's "Not Even Once" Youth Pledge with the help of students from Phoenix Preparatory Academy.  The unveiling was part of the Arizona Meth Project's kick off of Phase II of its campaign to educate Arizona's youth on the danger of using meth.  
Supervisor Stapley praised the efforts of the Arizona Meth Project, stating, "Our kids need this program because they are not yet convinced of the dangers of trying meth.  From the moment we launched the Pledge, our coalition partners across the state were anxious to carry this...message into their community so that the conversation about this horrific drug could take place at a very grassroots level."   
Navajo County Supervisor Jesse Thompson also attended the unveiling, and commented that he was happy to support the efforts of Arizona Meth Project.   Navajo County has successfully implemented drug treatment provisions outlined by the legislature in 2006.  "The funding from that measure is going great and we're getting the building materials to the sites this month.  We're happy with the progress we've made," Thompson stated.
For more information on the Arizona Meth Project, visit their website.

Budget Update: FAC Forecasts, Burns Seeks REM
The Financial Advisory Committee provided an updated economic forecast to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on Wednesday, painting a picture of continued slow growth and lower tax revenues.  FY07 revenues were $226 million below forecasts, and FY08 income is already $100 million below forecast.  (Click here to review the economic forecast.)
While some legislators have called for a special legislative session to address the budget concerns, most are focusing on how to address the FY09 budget planning.  Senator Bob Burns (R-9), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has expressed his desire to remove formulaic spending from the state budget through a "REM" process (reductions, eliminations or modifications).  This would require an annual evaluation of programs, and an ongoing determination of what should be cut and what should be trimmed. 
House of Representatives Speaker Jim Weiers (R-10) has called together members of his Republican caucus to begin preparations for the FY09 budget battle.  The Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting has also signaled that they are closely watching revenue levels and will be prepared to deal with it in the coming year.

Advisory Group Releases Recommendations on Land Fissures
A report released this week outlines the problem of earth fissures in Arizona, and recommends next steps that are needed in order to find a solution.  The Arizona Land Subsidence Group, a committee made up of technical experts, scientists and policymakers, released the report after months of study and evaluation of new information about land subsidence. 
In 2006, the legislature asked the Arizona Geological Survey to provide additional identification, mapping and public disclosure on earth fissures across the state.  Since a "cure" for these fissures is unknown, best practices and policies will need to be based on additional knowledge and information.  This week's report provides the following suggestions on what should be done next in order to address this public threat:
  • Encourage additional research into the processes that cause land fissures
  • Establish a long-term monitoring program to track land fissures
  • Create a network to integrate online sources for communication and solution strategies
  • Partner with neighboring states who are experiencing similar problems
  • Integrate new knowledge into subsidence and earth fissure publications and mapping problems
Click here to learn more about earth fissures by reading the full report.

ADEQ Seeks to Change Solid Waste Rules
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is in the process of amending its rules relating to solid waste management, and is seeking stakeholder input on the proposal.  The full text of the new rules can be reviewed on the ADEQ website.
According to ADEQ, the proposed rule change is an extensive effort to establish a systematic and comprehensive framework for regulating solid waste facilities and solid waste streams in Arizona. This rule will integrate and implement many statutory provisions, and may impact landfills, treatment facilities, transfer facilities, on-site storage facilities, composting facilities, and recycling facilities. The rule will also address the handling of solid waste prior to the point it is received by a solid waste facility.
ADEQ will provide opportunities for stakeholders to provide input on the rule proposal in the near future.

Note: There will be no CSA Board of Directors meeting in September - Supervisors will convene for a Board meeting at the Legislative Summit, on October 4.
Visit the CSA Calendar of Events at www.countysupervisors.org/calendar
County Supervisors Association of Arizona
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Phoenix, Arizona 85009
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