As planned, the session would include a referral of a sales tax hike to the ballot as well as a question to allow the lege to breach the protections of the Voter Protection Act (aka "Prop 105") to raid the funds of measures approved directly by the voters. In addition, there would be $200 million in budget cuts on the agenda.
According to State Rep. David Schapira (D-LD17), the tentative schedule is for the session to begin on Wednesday for Appropriations Committee consideration (and back room arm-twisting [my phrase, not his]) with COW and final passage (and probably more arm-twisting) on Thursday.
There are some serious questions if any package can pass a special session - most of the R caucus in the House and some of the Rs in the Senate have made it clear that they won't support even the referral of a temporary tax hike unless they pass permanent tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
In addition, they still aren't talking to Democrats (other than to notify them of the session itself).
As Rep. Schapira said, referring to the Republicans in the House and the chances of a special session passing anything -
"They fall in line, or it falls apart."More coverage here from Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, published by the EV Tribune.
Stay tuned for developments as this is a fluid situation. While it seems likely to fall apart at any moment, it could also be a done deal by Wednesday, with the leadership just holding the session to cross some "Ts" and dot some "Is" (pro forma consideration of something that they have worked out behind closed doors).
Assuming that the fifth "special" session goes off as planned, I'm not sure how I'd vote on a sales tax hike.
If it is simply to backfill revenue lost to tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, then my vote will be "HELL NO!!"
If it is part of a complete package designed to actually balance the budget while minimizing the pain to Arizona's neediest residents, then "maybe".
As for giving the lege the ability to breach Prop 105, that's a "HELL NO!!" Period. End of question.
These people have shown that they have neither the ability nor the inclination to govern responsibly. As long as they continue to ignore the wishes of their constituents, they must not be given the legal ability to do so.
And regarding any proposed budget cuts, I know that they are inevitable, but I want to see what they are first.
Time to cut the lege's budget, as well as those of state officials who have thus far been untouched by previous budget restrictions (like the Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction).