May 22, 2009

Scientists sue Arizona for $18 million

A group of scientists in Arizona say they're suing the state for $18 million in research money cut by the Legislature to cover a budget shortfall.

The money in the state's 21st Century Fund was earmarked for bioscience research projects conducted by the Science Foundation of Arizona, the foundation's lawsuit in Superior Court said.

The money was stripped in January when Republican lawmakers insisted the state empty the fund to balance the current budget.

Arizona lured researchers with a promise of state-matching funds and then withdrew funding at the Legislature's whim, the foundation argued.

The foundation's lawsuit is one of a growing number of breach-of-contract lawsuits filed against the state for cuts made in response to the budget crisis, the Republic reported.