Work on the state budget was upended last week by a legislative special session to address wildfire funding. The special session ended with a bipartisan $100M bill to address wildfire prevention and response, but it remains unclear when the state budget will be adopted, except that the state constitution requires the legislature to come up with some kind of budget by midnight on Wednesday, June 30.
After an unsuccessful attempt to pass the budget last week, Senate and House Republican leaders say that they won’t bring budget bills to the floor until they’re sure they have the necessary 31 and 16 votes to pass a budget. Representative Cook and Senator Paul Boyer have expressed concern about Republican leadership and Governor Ducey’s tax cut proposal which would benefit the wealthiest Arizonans.
The draft budget being shopped by the Governor, his staff, and his agency directors includes a permanent $1.9B tax cut over 3 years. A previous voter initiative requires a super-majority to pass any future tax increase- which means that any permanent tax cut will indeed be permanent.
In a hard-ball move a couple of weeks ago designed to brow-beat legislators, the Governor vetoed more than 2 dozen bills that had bi-partisan support including Important Governance Bills relating to the Arizona State Hospital & the Psychiatric Security Review Board and $15M in Funding from the Medical Marijuana Fund for Research & Public Health Prevention.