Today has been a rather colorful day in Arizona politics, creating a rather "target rich" environment for snarky bloggers. Let's start with the fundamentals...
From AZCentral.com -
The fate of a planned May 18 sales-tax election as well as hopes of balancing this year's state budget are in question after the House of Representatives Thursday derailed plans to close out a special session addressing the deficit.The House accepted, on a mostly party line vote*, an amendment from Frank Antenori to the Special Session's SB1002. The amendment was a conditional enactment clause that would hold the provisions of SB1002 in abeyance until regular session HB2250 is enacted. HB2250 is a series of corporate tax cuts including a property tax cut that would be backfilled by an increase to residential property tax rates and an income tax cut that has no guarantee that the corporate savings will be used to hire new employees.
The House linked approval of a bill that would cut taxes and provide other incentives for job creation to a budget-balancing bill that delays payments to the state's schools. That put it at odds with the Senate, where the jobs bill has not been in play and where Senate President Bob Burns said he won't consider the legislation until after lawmakers pass a budget.
Senate President Bob Burns has stated that he won't take up the tax cut bill before the lege passes a balance budget and has at least started the sine die process** for the sixth special session in the Senate, but if the House doesn't sine die the sixth special session by Tuesday, the bill approving the sales tax hike referral won't become effective until after the deadline for a special election in May. In other words, they get their sh!t together by Tuesday or the special election is off.
I'm not sure if that is a bad thing - I won't be voting for the sales tax increase if it is only going to be used to backfill the Rs corporate tax cuts.
*The House's passage of the amended bill was by the bare minimum of 31 votes, and that is after Rep. Lucy Mason (R-LD1) changed her vote to yes after giving a long speech on how bad the overall bill was. Of course, she changed her vote after receiving a note from one of her colleagues (Steve Montenegro (R-LD12)?.) Not sure what was in the note, but she changed her vote straight away.
**The Senate tried to adjourn sine die, but under the procedures of the lege, both chambers must adjourn at the same time, and when the Senate sent a committee over to the House to announce and coordinate the adjournment, no one was home to receive them. As such, the special session is continuing.