Monday, December 14, 2009

Special session Thursday?

Mary Reinhart of The Arizona Guardian is reporting that a one-day special session of the lege is in the works for Thursday (subscription required). There is some confusion over the details of the timing, but her article covers the topic well.

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).



Martyrmama said...

I'm running out of profanity. Time to come up with a new language I can abuse. I need to find a linguist stat!

This special session business is well past the point of ridiculousness. Nothing is EVER suggested to BALANCE the budget. They simply meet to cut and cut and cut. Do you suppose they expect that every R is not long for state seat that they'll simply run the clock out and the state credit into the toilet? Because it's beginning to smell like a massive fire sale before they all leave this flaming bag of poo for the next round of seat warmers.

Didn't Sen. Pearce say something along the lines of "We all have to feel the pain." Was there an asterisk next to "we all" that I didn't quite HEAR?? You know, "*we all" meaning, "*Excluding, of course, those top 1% wage earners our state has, for whom will cut taxes even further to our own detriment while the rest of you motherf*&^rs can twist and burn like Rome!"

It's bizzaro world around here. Where up is down, out is in. It's as though their mission is to drive most every rational person so crazy-mad that there's no one left to charge that their Emperor's wardrobe for a budget plan has left all of our goodies out for a good laugh.

cpmaz said...

Yup. What you said.

I keep sane by reminding myself that next November is less than a year away.

Of course, that only helps if there is a state left to govern by the time November's elections roll around.