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  Goddard: GOP budget will devastate criminal prosecutions
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Last EditedThomas Walker  Jan 30, 2009 10:11am
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News DateFriday, January 30, 2009 04:10:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionArizona Attorney General Terry Goddard says he could be forced to eliminate half his criminal staff and dismiss cases involving hundreds of defendants under a budget proposal suggested by Republican legislative leaders.

At risk, he says, are cases ranging from human trafficking to drug smuggling to weapons dealing.

In an interview with the Guardian on Wednesday, Goddard said he doesn't think most lawmakers realize that taking lump sum and personnel reductions for the current fiscal year, as GOP budget writers have suggested, will actually decimate the criminal prosecution section.

"When we did the numbers, it was a shock to me," Goddard said.

The appropriations committee chairmen -- Sen. Russell Pearce and Rep. John Kavanagh - have called for a 10 percent lump sum reduction in operating expenses and a 4.2 percent personnel cut, which could be handled any way the agency choses, through furloughs, layoff or other means.
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