Budget compromise fails

Phoenix, AZ – Efforts to adopt a new spending plan for the budget year that
begins Wednesday stalled on Saturday as Republicans balked at one
key element.

Most Republicans like the $8.4 billion spending plan. They also
support tax breaks backers say will help spur economic
development, including one that replaces Arizona's graduated
individual income tax with a flat 2.8 percent levy. The problem
has been corralling Republicans to back what Gov. Jan Brewer wants
-- a November vote to temporarily hike the state's 5.6 percent
sales tax by a penny. Senate President Bob Burns said he'll
probably need Democratic support.

(They typically support continuing spending levels. I believe the
proposal they put on the table continued spending levels for
education and other social services, etc. So in order to maintain
that, they're going to have to have some, certainly a lot of
additional revenue.)

The tax plan could raise $1 billion a year to restore spending
cuts. So far, though, Democrats have been chilly to the plan.
They don't like the sales tax because it hits the poor
disproportionately hard. And they oppose sharply lowering income
taxes for the most wealthy. So what would it take to get
Democratic votes? Senate Minority Leader Jorge Garcia had a
simple answer.

(La luna.)

The moon?

(Maybe it'll lighten up the darkness that's in this Legislature.)