Plans to pass the current version of the Republican State Budget Proposal and the controversial flat tax provisions in it appear to have hit a brick wall…for now.

The Arizona House of Representatives, with Republican leadership, has adjourned until June 10, 2021. This two-week adjournment is to accommodate members traveling schedules with the holiday weekend and give space behind the scenes to strike a deal with reluctant members behind the scenes.

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One source at the State Capitol confirmed that if a budget deal is struck earlier than June 10, Republican leaders would move to bring all members back within 48 hours.

The Arizona Senate, with most observers thinking that chamber lacks the votes to pass a budget on a Republican-only roll call, plans (as of right now) to run a test vote later today (May 27, 2021.)

UPDATE: The Arizona Senate postponed their test vote after leadership realized they lacked the Republican-only votes to pass it.

Arizona Senate Democrats issued the below statement.

 

The problems the Republicans face in attempting to secure a party-line vote on the budget where they only have one vote majorities in both chambers (thereby giving every party member effective veto power on something they do not like) is that there are competing visions for what should be included in the fiscal year spending program.

The differences among Republicans around the budget center on whether:

  • Whether there should be a flat tax of $1.5 billion or just $600 million as earlier proposed by Doug Ducey.
  • What the spending levels should be. There are Republicans who, especially when it comes to cities and towns, think it is too low. Others think the spending proposals are too high and cities and towns can raise their own local taxes if they want to raise revenue.
  • The loss in income tax revenue will be made up by increased sales tax receipts and new ones from online gambling and recreational marijuana. Some devoted supply-siders say it will be. Others, more learned in economic history, are not so sure.
  • How many nonbudget-related items like taking power away from the Secretary of State, or ensuring schools can no longer mandate children wear masks should be included in the final product?

Of course, one novel concept to consider moving forward would be to craft a budget that gets both Democratic and Republican votes that invests in the state, provides targeted tax relief, and moves the Grand Canyon State forward.

Mature and sensible leadership on the Republican side would consider this.

Does it exist?

When Senate President Karen Fann says Qanon is just as credible as CNN, one might think it does not.

This could be a fun couple of weeks (or days or hours) for Arizona political reporters. Stay Tuned.

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