Special Session is over, appropriations bills sent to Governor


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Special Session for the budget is over, but the regular session is continuing (no sine die yet). The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Senate passes Medicaid expansion, sending it to the governor:

The state Senate approved Gov. Jan Brewer’s
Medicaid expansion plan on an 18-11 vote this afternoon, sending it to
the governor for her signature.

* * *

In the House, a coalition of nine
Republicans joined with the 24 House Democrats to approve the spending
plan on a series of 33-27 votes, setting the stage for end the first
special session of the 51st Legislature, which Brewer called into action
at Tuesday evening.

The Republicans in the House who voted for the budget were Rep. T.J. Shope, Rep. Frank Pratt, Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, Rep. Heather
Carter, Rep. Doug Coleman, Rep. Jeff Dial, Rep. Doris Goodale, Rep.
Ethan Orr and Rep. Bob Robson.


Now the litigation games begin. The Goldwater Institute has threatened to sue over Prop. 108 (1992) which requires a two-thirds super-majority vote in each chamber for any "new revenue." They will assert that the hospital assessment fee provision is a "bed tax" subject to Prop. 108. Governor Brewer will insist it is a fee that can be assessed by AHCCCS and is exempt under Prop. 108. The provision has never been tested in court because the Arizona legislature has not passed a tax increase in the 20 years since Prop. 108 was enacted.

Other litigation will come from the Governor and her allies to quash the citizens referendum that former state senators Frank Antenori and Ron Gould have threatened to file as early as tomorrow. Governor Brewer will insist this is an appropriations bill not subject to a ctizens referendum, but legal experts disagree with that assessment.

If this citizens referendum successfully collects enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, it will wreak havoc with the AHCCCS program — Arizona's Medicaid waiver expires December 31, 2013 — and will impact individuals on AHCCCS until the matter is decided in November 2014. That's who will be hurt — not Jan Brewer, not "RINO" Republicans, not Presdient Obama in this ideological temper tantrum.

A Poll shows majority GOP support for Medicaid expansion:

In a live-caller poll of 500 likely GOP
primary voters conducted in late May by Public Opinion Strategies, a
Virginia-based Republican polling firm, 53 percent of respondents said
they supported Gov. Jan Brewer’s plan to expand Medicaid coverage in
Arizona. Only 40 percent of respondents said they opposed the plan. The
poll had a +/- 4.38 percent margin of error.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said
they strongly supported the plan, while 31 percent said they somewhat
supported it. Twenty-five percent said they strongly opposed it,
compared to 15 percent who said they somewhat supported it.

Nearly half of the respondents, 48 percent, identified themselves as
“very conservative,” with another 30 percent identifying themselves as
somewhat conservative. Twenty percent self-identified as moderate
Republicans, and only 1 percent said they were “somewhat liberal.”

The organization that commissioned the poll was not identified, but it was provided exclusively to the Arizona Capitol Times.

Frank Antenori and Ron Gould are not representative of a majority of Republicans. It is high time that the media stop treating these asshats as if they are.