Arizona legislature is in session on Memorial Day – a tentative budget deal, possible sine die


The Arizona legislature is in session today on Memorial Day, with a tentative budget deal reached with Sen. Paul Boyer, and possibly moving to sine die shortly after. With everyone away for the holiday, there will be even fewer eyes on the legislature to watch these sneaky bastards for any last minute shenanigans stuck into appropriations bills. How convenient.

The Arizona Republic reports Arizona Senate may have deal to break budget impasse:

A deal to break a deadlock that has prevented the Arizona Senate from passing an $11.8 billion state budget for days appeared to be in place Sunday.

The tentative agreement was confirmed Sunday afternoon by Republican Sen. Paul Boyer and Democratic Senate Minority Leader David Bradley. It would open the way for the Senate to pass a revised version of the budget approved by the House before dawn on Saturday when the Legislature returns on Memorial Day.

Fann didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday afternoon, and House Speaker Rusty Bowers also didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.

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The impasse stalled work in the Senate Saturday, which returned late in the morning after the House convened until dawn to approve the budget.

Boyer confirmed the tentative agreement but declined to provide many details.

Bradley confirmed it extended the statute of limitations to age 30 and allows victims now blocked from suing to do so until December 2020.

Boyer said he is waiting to see if Fann and Bowers put the proposal up for a vote Monday. It has been apparent for weeks that there are enough votes to pass his plan, but GOP leaders refused to do so.

House Republican Majority Leader Warren Peterson also confirmed the agreement. He tweeted, “We have a deal that balances protecting victims and the innocent. Likely we wrap up soon.”

Deal could hasten end of session

Petersen’s “likely we wrap up soon” tweet refers not only to passing a final budget deal but to the Legislature adjourning for the year, which could happen Monday or early Tuesday if a deal is finalized and no other stumbling blocks appear.

GOP Sen. J.D. Mesnard also was holding out for changes in a tax cut plan but appears unlikely to win that battle.

Carter also had other issues with the budget, complaining that it lacked money for several key issues she had advocated for, including cash for physician training programs, low-income housing and other items. The version that passed the House early Saturday contained some of those items.

Bradley said Democrats have similar issues, and were still negotiating to get funding for dental care for pregnant low-income women, chiropractic care for Medicaid recipients, extended diabetes care and more cash for low-income housing. They also are seeking more money to restore cuts to a school funding formula.

Hours of negotiations Sunday have put most of the pieces in place for an agreement that gets at least some Democratic support, Bradley said. That’s a big deal for Ducey, who has never gotten a budget passed with solid Democratic support.

“The framework for the deal is pretty much done. It’s just now filling in those final blanks,” Bradley said.

Whatever the Senate passes today will make changes to the package of bills the House passed on Saturday, which will require another series of votes in the House. Anything can happen.

Stay tuned.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.