Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Summary of Tuesday's special session activities

and a preview of Wednesday's possible activity in the House...

...The Senate, with most but not all Democrats on board, passed a series of bills meant to address the current fiscal year's state budget deficit. This includes the referral of a temporary increase to the state's sales tax to the ballot in a special election in May.

...The bills have been introduced in the House and were immediately referred directly to the Rules Committee, bypassing the Appropriations Committee, where Chairman John Kavanagh (R-Russell Pearce with a New York Accent) lies in wait, ready to kill it.

...Of course, the package may be dead already - I've heard from Speaker Kirk Adams (second hand), a Democratic member (first hand) and the aforementioned Kavanagh (first hand) that they don't have the votes in the House to pass the sales tax referral, and the rest of the package won't come close to making a serious dent in the deficit.

Grover Norquist's organization has already weighed in - launching a broadside at the Senate Rs who voted for the referral.

As an aside, could someone tell me where in AZ Norquist is registered to vote? I mean, I can understand the three legislators from that district listening to him (not that I agree with what he has to say), but why aren't the rest of the Rs simply pointing him in the direction of his own legislators?

Anyway, it looks like the package, or at least the sale tax referral, is dead unless the Rs get some permanent tax cuts for big business which will remove any Democratic support for it. And if the package changes in any way, it has to go back to the Senate for approval of any changes.

And given that it passed with the minimun number of votes necessary, any changes would likely end its chances of passage in the Senate.

...No agenda has been posted for House Rules, but the package will probably be considered tomorrow, if Adams thinks he can pull together the floor votes to make Rules consideration worth the effort. In a twist, Adams has submittee three technical corrections bills (HB2001, HB2002, and HCR2001) over in the House that have also been assigned to Rules. Not sure what is going on there yet, but I expect that they will be used as "vehicle" bills for his efforts to salvage something out of the Sixth Special Session of the 49th Arizona Legislature.



Martyrmama said...

Look at you, smarty farty, you nailed it. Second read includes Speaker Adams' bills...

Thane Eichenauer said...

It seems to me that due to most of the Democrats having an opposition to a higher sales tax (I would never have guessed) and much of the Republicans having a general opposition to any tax increase (unless it reduces taxes to businesses - again color me surprised) I don't see a tax increase of any sort passing in this special session.

I think it is sheer foolishness that the legislature to think that it can borrow indefinitely into the future. This faction apparently constitutes at least 50% of the legislature regardless of party label.

The state government needs to start reducing spending any which way it can instead of borrowing from tomorrow to pay for the current expenses of today.