State Capitol News
4:36 pm
Tue August 11, 2009

Voters most likely unable to decide on sales tax increase

Phoenix, AZ – The problem, quite simply, is that lawmakers have pretty much run out of time. A plan to have the Senate consider the package today fell apart when several Republican lawmakers were absent. Part of the time crunch is meeting deadlines for what has to be done before an election. But House Speaker Kirk Adams acknowledged part of it is that legislation does not take effect until the 91st day after the end of the session -- which even now would be beyond Nov. 3. That would amount to trying to hold an election before the measure authorizing it actually became law.

(I say it's unlikely, it's unlikely, that a Nov. 3rd election date can be done at this point, because of the legal issues that you raise. And we have been quite concerned about this. This is why the Senate is trying to move all last week and even yesterday and today. But a Nov. 3rd election day is quite unlikely.)

Senate President Bob Burns said today he still believes he can corral the votes for the package despite having been unable to do so now for more than a month.

(We're working on that as we speak. People are on their way into town. And so tomorrow we should have our bodies in the seats and, hopefully, our votes.)

But that presumes some of the missing actually will vote for the plan. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.