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NewsNet 01-24-14

ARIZONA LEGISLATURE'S BUDGET PROJECTIONS DIFFER FROM GOVERNOR'S - Legislative budget analysts have provided revenue projections that differ from Governor Jan Brewer's staff projections by approximately $600 million over the next three years. Richard Stavneak, staff director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, says the Governor’s budget is built on this year’s revenues growing by 5.3 percent over last year. He says the panel of economists that prepares the legislative estimates puts that number at 4.3 percent. Read more from Capitol Media Services via the Arizona Daily Star.

FEDS TELL MAYORS TO INVEST IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT - Officials from the U.S. Labor and Commerce Departments told city leaders at a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting this week in Washington, D.C. to work with area businesses to match workers with jobs. Representatives from those departments offered sobering statistics on the nation’s unemployment problem and activities at the federal level to alleviate joblessness, while highlighting innovative programs at the city level. They say many businesses need to raise wages, but government also needs to reassess how it invests in workforce development to help people obtain the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. Read more from Governing.

ARIZONA GAINED JOBS LAST MONTH - Arizona's unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.6 percent in December. State Department of Administration economists reported yesterday that Arizona's economy added 6,900 non-farm jobs in December, with the majority in the private sector. The state's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is at its lowest rate since October 2008. A year ago, Arizona's jobless rate was 7.9 percent. Read more from KVOA.

SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK’S RESTORATION PLAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT - Saguaro National Park's plan includes action intended to restore natural vegetation and mitigate impacts to park lands from damage caused by fire, flood, invasive species, or other human causes. One of the proposals includes aerial delivery of herbicide to combat buffelgrass in areas of the park that are not reachable by ground crews. The comment period is open until February 24. Read the plan and visit the public comment website.

HOW TO MANAGE HARD WATER AND OTHER TIPS FROM TUCSON WATER - Get tips on how to manage hard water, increase dishwasher efficiency, flush your water heater, check faucet aerators and more. Information is available in English and Spanish. You can download, print, or request a mailed copy of the tips. You can also learn how to pay your water bill online and stop and start service. Visit Tucson Water for more information.