Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
There is very little that Governor Jan Brewer and I have ever agreed upon during her long political career. But I have to grudgingly admire her latest tactical move and give her props to call a special session to pass her budget over the Tea Party minority obstructionists. This is exactly what I would have done. Well played. Gov. Jan Brewer calls lawmakers into surprise special session:
Fed up with weeks of debate and delay on her top
legislative priority, Gov. Jan Brewer called lawmakers into an
unprecedented special session late Tuesday, bypassing the leadership of
her own party to push through Medicaid expansion and the 2014 budget.
The governor’s surprise move comes after House Speaker
Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, adjourned until Thursday, stalling efforts by a
bipartisan House coalition to pass Brewer’s 2014 budget and Medicaid
Many legislators were on their way home when Brewer called
key lawmakers to a meeting in her offices, where the special session
plans were organized. They agreed to unseat the speaker and Senate
president, if necessary, to get Medicaid expansion and the budget
Brewer issued a special session proclamation at 5 p.m.,
and by then Democrats and the expansion-friendly Republicans were
already gathering on the House floor.
Proclamation for Special Session Governor Brewer Calls Special Session for Budget-Related Matters
Matthew Benson, the governor’s spokesman, said Brewer had
waited long enough, and that Tobin adjourning the House until Thursday
“was the final straw.”
* * *
Bipartisan coalitions in the House and Senate that have
backed Brewer’s expansion plan for months will push it through, starting
tomorrow, along with nine bills that make up the fiscal 2014 state
The rules give broad authority to a simple majority of the
60-member House. Including the power to bring bills to the floor,
create committees and replace leadership.
The House Medicaid coalition includes at least 32 members, and there are at least 18 in the Senate.
It’s expected to take three days to get the job done.
Debate in the House and Senate is expected Wednesday, with final votes
* * *
State law gives Brewer the authority to call a special
session whenever she chooses. The only requirement is that she specify
the topics of the session and not deviate from them, said election
attorney Tom Ryan. Governors may call special sessions to focus
lawmakers on high-profile matters. In past years, Arizona governor’s
routinely called special budget sessions to run concurrently with
Tuesday’s special session proclamation includes the state budget and Medicaid expansion.
House Republicans, led by Rep. Bob Robson of Chandler and
Heather Carter of Cave Creek, were resigned, but not enthusiastic about
rolling over their leadership.
“This is obviously not something that you choose to do,” Robson said.
But Robson said it doesn’t appear the group will be forced to remove Tobin and Biggs, even temporarily.
“It appears the speaker and Senate president are willing to move the bills through the process,” Robson said.
* * *
At least eight to 10 House Republicans are expected to join the
chamber’s 24 Democrats in support of expansion, a coalition that has
been loosely organized for months.
The next couple of days are going to be critical. Call your state legislators now and demand that they pass the AHCCCS restoration/expansion health care budget, and pass the rest of the budget. The July 1 constitutional deadline is fast approaching. Get 'er done, and go sine die!