Budget battle a Brewer-ing

The “meth lab of democracy,” your Arizona legislature and governor, at work . . . a three way temper tantrum between people more interested in getting their way than in doing what is right for the citizens of Arizona. Arizona Legislative budget hits 3-way impasse:

TemperTantrumThe Arizona Senate, the House and Gov. Jan Brewer have reached a budget impasse. All three are waiting to see if the others will blink first.

“All of us in leadership are playing the role of traffic cops at an intersection in gridlock,” said House Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills. “Maybe, as the weeks pass, people might be more prone to compromise.”

The House has refused to support the Senate’s latest version of the budget, passed Monday. The Senate budget stripped out a number of items the House added to the original Senate version. Brewer said Monday that she wouldn’t support the Senate’s latest version, either.

Procedurally, the next step would be for Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker Andy Tobin to each appoint a bipartisan group of three lawmakers to a conference committee. The committee would then be charged with finding a solution.

But neither the House nor the Senate has plans to appoint members to such a committee any time soon.

Biggs said he’s waiting for the House to make the first move.

“I have to see what they are going to do, and I hope they have a sense of urgency,” he said. “The ball is in their court.”

In the meantime, Brewer’s staff has said she will likely veto any bill that the Legislature sends to her desk before the budget.

So what is the legislature spending their time doing on your dime? Arizona Legislature debating bills but not voting:

The Arizona Legislature is apparently paying attention to Gov. Jan Brewer’s message that she won’t sign any bills until she sees a budget she can approve on her desk.

The House on Thursday is set to debate 13 bills but hasn’t scheduled votes on any of them. The Senate is set to debate five bills and also hasn’t scheduled votes. Wednesday’s action followed the same game plan.

All the bills have already passed the other chamber, so a passing vote would trigger their transmittal to the governor.

But with Brewer sending a message this week as a budget package remains stalled legislative leaders are apparently not chancing a veto by doing that.

So the legislature, which we had hoped would sine die this week before it could do any more damage to Arizona’s citizens, is stuck in a holding pattern while the “leadership” (sic) of this state has a temper tantrum demanding to get their way.

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