Sunday, July 05, 2009

OK - I've got dibs on 48 and 24 in the quorum pool

On Monday, July 6, the Arizona Legislature is scheduled to hold a special session to work up a budget after the governor vetoed most of the one that they sent to her at the very last minute.

Actually, it was after the very last minute, but due to a localized time dilation phenomenon (known as shutting off the clocks at the lege)... :)

It's already known that at least one Republican, Senate President Bob Burns, had already made vacation plans (trip to Europe) and probably won't be there, and that one Democrat, Representative Ed Ableser, will be out of town on personal business (wedding and a honeymoon - yup. That's "personal" business. :)) Congrats Ed!). Others are sure to have made other plans for July because most lege types know better than to make any plans to be out of town from the beginning of January through the end of June.

Since we *are* into July, others are certain to have made plans and won't be able to attend the session. And at least a few who are able to attend may not do so, in a protest of one thing or another.

Still, under the law, legislators are required to attend duly noticed special sessions.

So, with all that as background, we should start the AZ blogosphere quorum pool (no money changing hands, just bragging rights.)

My predictions are that 48 members of the House and 24 members of the Senate will answer the call, for an absentee rate of 20%.

Of course, no matter how many attend, they are a long way from the 31 and 16 votes needed to pass a budget that the Governor will find signable*.

Especially if they insist on still not involving the Democrats (other than demanding their votes without, you know, actually *dealing* with the Democrats).

*And what she considers "signable" is pretty damn bad, so that should tell you how bad the lege's budget had to be for her to veto it.


Thane Eichenauer said...

I don't see that it matters much how many legislators show up given the fact the orthodox media is incapable of writing any story that doesn't blame the Republican legislative majority (that loves to borrow money, but increase taxes not much) for not increasing taxes.

I'm just wondering if Arizona government college funding will ever get the axe it deserves. Even if you love government programs, college spending doesn't have any babies to point to nor any scary stories of police calls left unresponded to.

cpmaz said...

Thane -

Don't bet on AZ's public higher ed system getting the "axe" that you think it deserves.

While people can disagree on the level of support it should get, most people understand that a vibrant higher ed system is one of the keys to a successful future.

And the University of Phoenix and the various fly-by-night schools of cosmetology and massage that populate strip malls across the state don't produce the engineers, lawyers, doctors and more that we need.

As for the way the MSM has written about the whole budget crisis, well, personally I think that they've been altogether too gentle with the Republicans.

The AZ Cap Times had a story a few weeks ago (a neutral, non-finger pointing one) that showed a big part of AZ's current budget mess was directly linked to the Reps' ongoing and never-ending fetish for cutting taxes, even when there is no sound fiscal justification for doing so (i.e. - cutting taxes even when we are facing a $3 bln deficit.)

The sad part is that the "cut and slashers" could still have implemented some historic cuts - simply put, the money isn't there.

However, that wasn't good enough, and when they got greedy, even this governor couldn't sign the budget that she was given.

Thane Eichenauer said...

As I've mentioned elsewhere:

"Higher education is a fine thing but I don't expect Arizona plumbers and carpenters of the world to pay taxes in order that Jim or Jane Smith can study Literature at ASU."

Government doesn't eliminate costs, it can only hide them through taxation from people who use the services.

Is there any way to determine the "best" amount of government provided higher ed? Should we have half as much as is provided now? Twice as much (more is better?)

As for other schools, nothing forces students to purchase learning from them. As for cosmetology schools, I'll bet there are plenty of people who think they are as necessary in their own way as medical schools.

It is odd to label the Repubicans in the legislature who rejected a tax increase referendum as greedy in my book. Nothing keeps anybody in Arizona from donating money to their favorite school or charity. Honestly earned money (all of it) is the property of those people who worked to earn it and all the negative framing in the world (there is quite a bit of it) doesn't change that fact.