Arizona

Jan 14, 2013 4:58 PM

Gov. Brewer's goals for 2013

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday laid out her vision and priorities for Arizona in her annual State of the State address.

Brewer's speech on the opening day of the legislative session will be her fourth.

This one is expected to be a little more traditional that her earlier versions, which were punctuated by a massive budget crisis in 2010 and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords just before her 2011 speech.

Last year she called for the Legislature to fund the buyback of state buildings mortgaged to pay the state's bills.

Her vision for the 2013 is likely to be focused more on the state's financial recovery.

She's already called for simplifying the state's sales tax collection structure and says she wants education to get more money.

Here's a look at some of her points from the speech:

Tying education funds to school performance

Brewer wants to tie some new school funding to performance.

Brewer says the state has already enacted rules requiring schools to focus on core standards and to identify students having difficulty reading by the 3rd Grade. But she says one in four third-graders can't read at grade level, and it's no coincidence that one in four students drops out of high school.

So she says she's proposing a comprehensive performance funding plan for school districts and charter schools. She says the plan would augment per-student funding with an innovative approach to promoting school performance.

She didn't release details during her annual State of the State speech to a joint session of the Legislature on Monday. Those will likely come when she releases her proposed 2013-2014 budget Friday.

Sales tax collection overhaul

Brewer wants the Legislature to enact her proposal for a comprehensive simplification of the state's sales tax collection system.

Brewer says the current system has so many twists and turns it is extremely difficult for businesses to pay what they owe. She says business owners serving multiple cities must file multiple tax returns with multiple tax bases and undergo multiple audits. She wants a system that has just one form and one filing per business.

She made the remarks during her annual State of the State speech to a joint session of the Legislature on Monday.

Cities and towns object to some of the proposal because they would lose money from new construction sales taxes. House speaker Andy Tobin has said he's listening and open to changes.Brewer says her budget will include money to add 150 Child Protective Services workers and she wants emergency funding to hire 50 immediately.

Emergency funding to hire more CPS workers

Brewer says Arizona has improved operations at CPS in the past year by creating a special law enforcement unit to investigate the worst cases, overhauling the child abuse hotline reporting system, cutting paperwork burdens and streamlining hiring.

But Brewer says more needs to be done to address what she calls a "moral issue" of protecting children.

Brewer's request was included in her annual State of the State speech to a joint session of the Legislature on Monday.

Brewer says the proposal she releases Friday for the budget year beginning July 1 will call for more school resource officers to keep children safe from violence.

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