By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

Just a few things



…The AZ House and Senate have each passed slightly different versions of a state budget.  It’s now in conference committee where Rs from the House and Rs from the Senate will hash out their differences.  There are Ds assigned to the committee, but don’t expect them to be allowed to have much say.  At this point, it’s just about determining how ugly the budget will be – will it be “Tobin Ugly” or will it be “Biggs Ugly“.

My money is on “Biggs Ugly”; as bad as Tobin is, no member of the current lege does “ugly” as enthusiastically as Biggs (though a few do try).

…In a (somewhat) budget-related development, the House slowed down final consideration of Senate bills.  The original plan had been to keep working on the measures while the budget negotiations take place, but it was pointed out that if that happened while the Senate sat on the remaining House bills, the House would lose all leverage with the Senate.

After that “observation”, the House “caucused” the remaining Senate bills that they have, but haven’t moved them to final consideration since.

Now the Senate has 16 House bills on its COW calendar on Monday (COW1, COW2) and 29 House bills on its Rules Committee agenda for Monday (1 p.m., Caucus Room 1), setting them up for floor consideration.

According to sources, the member of the House who made that observation?  Ethan Orr.

The southern AZ Republican may lose his bid for reelection (in his D-leaning district, he likes to portray himself as a moderate, but his brand of “moderation” reeks more of “triangulation” than anything more significant), but in terms of intra-organization politics, the tactic is spot-on.

…Sources predict the lege will adjourn sine die within the next couple of weeks.  My sources are Democrats, so their information may not be the most current, but that prediction fits with the usual practice of early adjournments in even-numbered years so members can go out and campaign.

…In addition to the legislative membership changes (both pending and already occurred) due to term limits and runs for Congress, a ripple effect will be seen as members choose to seek the offices of people who are seeking Congressional seats.

Latest example:  Senate Democratic leader Anna Tovar has filed for an exploratory committee to run for the seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors vacated by Mary Rose Wilcox, who is running for the Congressional seat held by the retiring Ed Pastor.

Assuming that there are no further developments, that means that she will not be returning to the Senate.  As of this writing, no other D has filed to run for the LD19 Senate seat that she currently holds.  However, four Ds are running for the two House seats from that district, so don’t be shocked if one of them switches over.

Also filing for a run at the MCBOS, so far anyway:

Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale