Kiem Ho, Class 26
Director of Business Development & Innovation, Laundry Care, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.
The Class 26 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.
State government day at the capitol building was carefully planned to give our class a better understanding of the legislative process including an opportunity to meet some of the legislators to better understand their priorities. At the risk of not providing a comprehensive overview of the day, I want to focus solely on the very informative overview the Secretary of State Ken Bennett provided on the Arizona annual budget.
Secretary of State Ken Bennett carefully used pre-mocked up Kleenex boxes which represented $500M or $1B increments to recreate Arizona’s yearly budget. Out of the estimated $10.5B total, the majority of the spending was allocated to K-12 education. Other important budget items included Health, Prisons, Higher Education, Health and Wellness and Transportation. I was surprised to find out how much of the support is allocated to education given the low rankings one always hear about Arizona’s low 49th ranking for money received to support education. What is even more shocking is the fact that we have run a deficit because of past legislative actions.
Granted, no one could have predicted the significant toll the economy has had on the state budget but, doesn’t it seem a simple principle to not spend more money than one has?
I wonder if those in the State government truly feel the reality of the dollars they spend. Perhaps the sum is so large that it feels more like spending Monopoly money where if you run out, you can always collect $200 for passing “GO”. Secretary of State Bennett related a story that during the year where there was a small surplus, the legislators presented so many proposals on how to spend the money that it heavily outweighed the surplus by many factors.
At the end of the day, let’s spend no more than we have or even save money if possible. Almost sounds like a truism, but there seems to be a disconnect of understanding about the “sweat” that goes into earn those funds. In my line of work, going over a budget even in one year is not acceptable. It is that simple.
I want to know what are your thoughts on the state budget?