The turquoise-blue Arizona sky hasn’t fallen yet, though we wait for the occasional asteroid to hit the ground. The governor has called the legislature back into a special session, in hopes of getting something more like her way in the fight over the budget. Meanwhile, most state agencies (what remains of them) were open for business today.
An Arizona Republic reporter passes along something amazing, however. If the state fails to pay our salaries tomorrow, we’ll get a nice bonus:
A shutdown would harm the state’s credit rating, making it more expensive for Arizona to borrow money in the future, [State Treasurer Dean] Martin said. And if the state can’t make its $85 million biweekly payroll Thursday, federal law says the state could have to pay triple the amount, up to $255 million, to state workers as a penalty.
Well, in the case of university employees, nonpayment is unlikely to come to pass. Our college’s business manager says this week’s payroll has already been processed. If direct deposit is automated, as it almost certainly is, we should see our paychecks sometime tomorrow.
Besides, if the legislature (and governor) stink like dead fish now, just imagine the effect they’ll have on taxpayers when the state has to shell out $170 million dollars more than is actually owed to its workers! It won’t just be state employees and July 4 vacationers turned out of campgrounds who’ll be trying to vote the rascals out of office. Although the parks reopened this morning, most campers were rousted out yesterday afternoon.
It’s quite an Independence Day spectacle. More fireworks are on the way.