McGuire’s amendment brings Pinal a vital $550,000

FLORENCE, AZ – Senator Barbara McGuire, who represents a wide swath of Pinal County as District 8 Senator, was instrumental in ensuring that Pinal County would again receive an appropriation from Arizona Lottery revenues. The $550,000 that McGuire secured for Pinal County will be used to provide vital county services from road construction and emergency management to public health and safety.

Counties have historically received lottery revenues since 1986. In the most recent year for which distributions were made, $7.65 million went to counties – $550,000 for each of the 13 rural counties and $250,000 each for Pima and Maricopa counties. In 2011, lottery revenue sharing was eliminated to assist the state in resolving its budget crisis.

On May 16, the Arizona State Senate passed a version of the state budget, Senate Bill 1483. Senator Barbara McGuire turned her attention to the lottery distribution and noted that the plan only included distributions to 10 counties with Pinal not among the list. She quickly pushed for a floor amendment to direct lottery distributions to 13 counties in the amount of $550,000 each.

The Senate budget then stalled, but McGuire continued to argue that all 13 rural counties should benefit from lottery revenue. During the final hours of budget negotiations, the House and Senate reached an agreement that included the lottery distribution to Arizona’s 13 rural counties. This is the budget that Governor Jan Brewer signed yesterday.

“To say this year’s state budget talks were contentious is probably a huge understatement,” said Pinal County Board Chairman Steve Miller. “Pinal County has suffered through the recession by tightening our own belt, even while the state was cutting our funding in a ‘double whammy.’ We appreciate the hard work of Senator McGuire to ensure that our residents get a share of the lottery revenues. We look forward to working with our legislators again next year to restore other funding as the state’s fiscal health improves.”

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