State Capitol News
11:44 am
Wed August 5, 2009

Lawmakers postpone budget vote again

Phoenix, AZ – State lawmakers have once again postponed approving a final
budget as they find themselves still shy of the necessary votes.

Senate President Bob Burns needs 16 votes from his 18-member
Republican caucus for the most controversial part of the package
-- referring a sales tax hike to the ballot while also
guaranteeing future cuts in income and property taxes, many of
these for business. But two Republicans are firmly against the
tax hikes, another doesn't like the tax cuts and a fourth is on a
Caribbean cruise. Burns said he may have to recraft the plan.

"We may have to, yeah. We're still trying to get the 16 votes.
And if we can get those, I mean, time's running out on that. And
so, then, if we can't get those, then we're going to have to
figure out what to do next."

But any effort to get Democratic support could end up losing even
more Republican votes. Some GOP lawmakers who have agreed to send
the sales tax measure to the ballot don't like the idea. But Sen.
Russell Pearce said he sees the exercise as useful -- as he
believes voters will reject the tax plan.

"I think people need the message from the voters. And I'm praying
that they weigh in the right way. You've got a governor who isn't
listening very careful. You've got a legislature that isn't
willing to cut significantly. We've grown government double
digits, twice the pace of inflation and population the last six
years."

The Senate is set to come back and try again Friday.