State Capitol News
4:13 pm
Tue June 23, 2009

State Supreme Court hears Brewer budget lawsuit

Phoenix, AZ – The attorney for Governor Jan Brewer asked the state's high court
today to force the Legislature to send her the budget they passed
-- presumably for her to veto.

The constitution says every measure approved by the Legislature -
- quote -- when finally passed shall be presented to the
governor. But there is no deadline. Based on that, Senate
President Bob Burns has refused to send the budget to Brewer,
saying he wants to use its passage as leverage to get a spending
plan GOP lawmakers want. Attorney David Cantelme told the
justices they should let legislative leaders decide the timing.

(There's no requirement. It's not an emergency situation. And
they can wait til June 30. And here's a good reason why they
should be entitled to wait. They should be able to go out to the
public and build support for their position.)

But Joe Kanefield, the governor's legal counsel, said lawmakers
should not be allowed to hold off until the end of the budget
year, a move he said backs Brewer into a corner: Sign the budget
or shut down the state.

(It should not be discretionary on the part of the Legislature to
hold the bills for what they believe to be, to give them
political gain in negotiations with the governor regarding the
budget. That's not the standard in the constitution. It's a
mandatory task.)

The court could rule as early as this afternoon.