Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The House passed the final bill in the budget package Tuesday, repealing the state equalization property tax, but deliberately failed to convey the measure to the Senate, a maneuver intended to stall the process while Republican leaders try to convince Gov. Jan Brewer to sign the bills. (h/t Arizona Guardian). The maneuver is also designed to avoid having to comply with an Arizona Supreme Court decsion from last week. Arizona Supreme Court: Legislature Violated The Arizona Constitution
In this video, House Speaker Kirk Adams explains to Howard Fischer that he plans on sending the House budget to the 9th floor on Thursday. He also said that he will meet with Senate President Bob Burns and Gov. Jan Brewer before then to make sure everyone is on board with the current budget plan.
Howard Fischer reports House OKs repealing Arizona's property tax:
Ignoring a possible veto, the state House voted 32-15 Tuesday to permanently repeal the state property tax and forgo the $250 million it would bring in to help balance the budget.
The move comes less than a week after the Senate approved the identical measure.
That means the bill is ready to be sent to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer along with the rest of the budget-balancing plan enacted by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
But House Speaker Kirk Adams and Senate President Bob Burns aren’t sending the package to her just yet. Instead, they want to try again to convince her to sign it even though lawmakers have yet to give her the key element of what she wanted out of the deal: a chance for voters to decide in December whether they’re willing to temporarily hike state sales taxes to help bridge the gap between spending and income.
“We don’t know what the governor is going to do yet with these bills,” Adams said after the vote.
Once the measures reach Brewer’s desk she has five days, not including Sunday, to decide whether to sign or veto the measures. Adams said he doesn’t want to start the clock just yet.
“It gives us some time to work through a few things,” he said.
Gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said Brewer remains open to some sort of a deal. But he said the governor has told legislative leaders there are limits.
“She has made it very, very clear — and continues to as these past several days have gone — to make it very clear what is an acceptable package to her and what is not,” he said.
BTW, this budget is not balanced as required by the Arizona Constitution.
As previously reported, Senate defeats bill with sales tax hike referral:
That, in essence, would give the governor the same package she vetoed last month [July 1] as "fatally flawed."
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The package Brewer will get also includes permanent repeal of the state property tax.
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The failure of the sales tax referral, in turn, killed any chances of passage of another bill which would cut corporate income taxes by 30 percent beginning in 2011, with a 6.6 percent cut in individual income tax rates. That measure was procedurally linked to the tax referral: It would take effect only if voters were first given the chance to boost sales taxes for three years.
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The governor would not say what she will do when the package, minus the tax referral she desperately sought, hits her desk. Instead, she issued a prepared statement criticizing legislative foes of the plan.
"They have so little trust in the voters that they would once again delay the passage of a sound state budget, and deny the people the opportunity to protect critical funding for education, public safety, and care for our most vulnerable citizens," her statement said. "Their actions are irresponsible, create an increasing cost to state taxpayers and, if not resolved quickly, will do irreparable harm to our families and our economic future."
Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Apache Junction, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, last week read from the governor's [July 1] veto message complaining about the "devastating cuts to education, public safety and our state's most vital health services for the frail."
"If the governor signs this budget, she's turning her back on the very people that she proclaimed to protect," Rios said.
"She will have done nothing for education or Arizona's most vulnerable populations," Rios continued. "Rather, when the governor signs this budget she will show that she is just another politician who cannot be trusted and who will lie to Arizona voters."
After seven weeks of a Special Session we are right back where we started, with the same "fatally flawed" budget that "will do irreparable harm to our families and our economic future."
Governor, veto this budget -- again. You have a better option.
Despite the inability to come up with Republican votes for the tax referral, Sen. Burns has been unwilling to try to recraft the budget package in a way designed to get Democratic support. House OKs repealing Arizona's property tax:
Senate Minority Leader Jorge Garcia, D-Tucson, said, though, it’s time for Burns to reconsider.
“The reality is that we’ve been following the majority’s plan for the last three weeks,” he said to Burns in a floor speech. “We’re stuck and remain stuck.”
Garcia said he is “confident” that a bipartisan deal can be struck if Republicans invite Democrats back to the bargaining table.
In the House, there were similar calls by Democrats to be included in new talks involving not only the Republicans in both chambers but also the governor.
Governor, it is time to convene a 5-way budget summit. Jettison the ideological extremist policies of the Grover Norquist Republicans and set aside the hyper-partisanship of the GOP insane clown posse leadership. Arizona is on the brink of being unable to maintain its line of credit before the end of this month, and being forced to issue IOU's as state government begins to shut down as early as October.
It's time to do the right thing.