State Capitol News
3:54 pm
Thu July 9, 2009

Budget battle causes Republican fallout

Phoenix, AZ – The fight within the Republican party over how to craft a new
state budget has had some political fallout.

Senate President Bob Burns said he has been trying craft a budget
plan acceptable to his caucus as well as Gov. Jan Brewer. But
Burns said some members of his leadership team have not been
pushing in the same direction. So on Wednesday he ousted Sen.
Thayer Verschoor from his position as president pro-tem.

(It's just that we haven't functioned very well as a team. And
so, we're in a transition period right now. So now is a good time
to try to make improvements there. And I feel bad about having to
do it. I wish we could have made it work better.)

Burns said the last straw was when Verschoor helped block a move
to get the full Senate to vote on whether to accede to Brewer's
demand to ask voters to hike the state sales tax. He said
Verschoor was not being a team player. Verschoor, for his part,
said Burns never really worked with his leadership team,
preferring to call the shots on his own. Burn is replacing
Verschoor with freshman Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott.

(He has indicated that he can communicate well with members. He
communicates well with me. He is certainly ambitious. And he
wants to, I believe, be engaged in the process. And he showed
it.)

The change is effective immediately.