Treasurer Dean Martin, Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson Help Alhambra High School Students Sample ‘Financial Football’ Program
Written on January 28th, 2008
More than 25 students from Alhambra High School got a money management lesson Monday outside the classroom, with Arizona Cardinals All Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzergerald and Offensive Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson playing teacher.
The duo, along with Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin and Visa Inc., kicked off Super Bowl week with a computer learning game for the lucky group.
The game, dubbed “Financial Football,” is being distributed Monday by Salt River Project to more than 600 high schools and junior high schools. The goal ofthe nationwide initiative, now in its 13th year, is to help students tackle their financial futures.
Fitzgerald and Peterson shared their personal experiences of making it big and maintaining their financial control after watching dozens of their peers in the National Football League squander their savings.
“You really have to know how to manage your money,” said Peterson, who still is adjusting to a mortgage and multiple car payments. The Minnesota Vikings running back just concluded his rookie campaign after playing three seasons with the University of Oklahoma.
Fitzgerald, who is in contract negotiations with the Cardinals, has made community involvement a priority since arriving in the desert.
“It’s important to reach out to youth. It’s important to create a good image for them, to be a role model,” he said.
He said his father was a frugal guy who stressed financial security, even during Fitzgerald’s first job as a ball boy for the Vikings. “You never know when your last play is going to be,” he said.
In a state suffering from poor student achievement, Martin said financial literacy is needed.
“Everyone is going to need to balance a checkbook. We need to help improve our curriculum and get this into the classroom,” he said.
The game was developed in cooperation with the NFL and Players Inc., a group of active and retired NFL players, along with Visa. The game is the centerpiece of a national financial education initiative that also includes a classroom curriculum. The game also can be downloaded free on cell phones.
Chris Casacchia The Business Journal
The Phoenix Business Journal
Treasurer Dean Martin: State Funds May Run Out Unless Legislature Takes Action
Written on January 23rd, 2008
PHOENIX — Arizona’s cash to pay its bills will dry up sometime in late May without legislative action, state Treasurer Dean Martin warned Tuesday.
Martin said at the rate the dollars are going “out the door,” the entire $9.6 billion that legislative staffers predict the state will collect this fiscal year will be gone more than a month before it actually ends. That’s because state agencies were authorized to spend $10.6 billion under the assumption — now disproved — tax collections would reach that much.
He said if nothing changes, the state could end up issuing what essentially are bad checks for routine expenses, including payroll, as the state does not have what otherwise might be called “overdraft protection.”
“We don’t have any agreements with the local banks to say they’ll just kind of cover us for a few days or a week or whatever,” Martin said. “There’s no contract or anything,” he continued. “We couldn’t create one if we wanted to.”
Martin’s report comes as lawmakers began a week of all-day hearings to try to fix the mess — and do it before the cash runs out. The treasurer said at least some of the problem could be solved simply by giving him permission to spend more than the tax dollars he is collecting. That’s because the state does have extra cash, including close to $700 million in its “rainy day” fund and more than $100 million in various other special funds.
“But without a legislative budget bill being passed, we don’t have the authority to tap into that,” he said.
Both Gov. Janet Napolitano and key Republican legislators both propose to dip into that rainy day fund to resolve this year’s deficit. But the GOP plan also proposes severe and immediate spending cuts; the governor hopes to make up much of the gap by borrowing nearly $400 million for school construction costs this fiscal year rather than paying cash.
Martin also said there is no evidence that the pace of state spending has slowed despite statements by the governor that she directed agency chiefs back in July to start cutting expenses. He said the state spent 47 percent of its budget in the first six months of the fiscal year — the same figure he said has been the state’s average.
Gubernatorial press aide Jeanine L’Ecuyer said spending has been trimmed. And she said she “really would question” what Martin is saying, suggesting political motives behind the figures.
“He wants to be governor really bad,” she said of the Phoenix Republican.
But Martin said the spending numbers are accurate.
What happens if budget negotiations falter and the kitty runs dry is less than clear.
Martin said the state could stop paying its non-automatic bills, essentially leaving some suppliers and others stranded unless and until lawmakers find the cash.
More problematic, he said, are checks written for routine expenses, particularly payroll checks. He said these go out automatically.
But since the state has no “overdraft protection” plan with its servicing bank, that bank may refuse to honor them.
By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
Sierra Vista Herald
Ariz. treasurer: State’s spendable cash runs out in late May
Written on January 2nd, 2008
PHOENIX (AP) – State Treasurer Dean Martin says the state will run out of cash it can spend in late May – five weeks before the end of the fiscal year – unless legislators act.
Republican legislators and Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano are debating how the state should close a revenue shortfall estimated at up to $970 million in the current $10.6 billion budget.
Martin’s office invests the state’s cash and he told legislators Tuesday that spending is exceeding receipts.
He said the state could spend money in its reserve and other funds. But he also said his office can’t touch that money without legislative authorization.
He also said there’s no indication that state agencies reduced their overall spending during the first half of the fiscal year.
Associated Press Writer