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Arizona Sec. of State Ken Bennett released the following statement Monday following Gov. Jan Brewer's State of the State address.

It has not been altered in any way.

"I was pleased to hear Governor Brewer's renewed call for fiscal discipline in today's state of the state message," said Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett. "Nearly four years ago, the governor and legislature implemented a plan that successfully dealt with an unprecedented budget shortfall that was unlike anything we've experienced in our state's history.

"Now, Arizona is at a critical juncture as we continue to maintain fiscal stability and economic growth. Over the coming months, the legislature will face significant decreases in revenue as the temporary sales tax increase expires and federal stimulus dollars run out. How the legislature allocates the state's limited amount of resources will determine the course of our short-term and long-term economic future.

"Pro-growth strategies and a positive atmosphere for growth will be vital to Arizona's resurgence. So many of our young people are looking for satisfying careers, not just jobs. We must make it easier for them to find fulfilling long-term professions that provide a good living for their families. Our future depends on it.

"While economic concerns are Arizona's number one priority, our office is also exploring opportunities to enhance our system of elections. From early ballot processing to initiative petitions, we are meeting with state legislators and the elections community to identify areas where we can make improvements. Our goal is to have the best system of elections in the world and I'm confident we will take more steps toward that goal during the 51st legislative session."

KTAR Newsroom,

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