Tonight, after a long day of waiting, all of the Republicans budget bills made it out of the Senate Education committee, including the flat tax and sales tax referrals.
Repeatedly, Senate Democrats on the committee made it clear that these budget bills would take Arizona in the wrong direction. This budget package gives a tax cut to businesses and the wealthiest Arizonans while raising taxes on lower income families and cutting vital services.
In case you missed it this morning, the Republican budget bills started out in the Appropriations committee, but the bills were pulled from that committee when the feed bill failed in committee with four yeas and four nays. The committee recessed in order to regroup after the failure of the bill. During the recess, it became apparent that the bills were not going to make it out of committee with all Democrats and several Republicans voting against the measure.
Instead of negotiating with Democrats, Senate Republicans chose to withdraw the budget bills from the Appropriations committee where Sen. Russell Pearce is the chair and move them to the Education committee where Sen. John Huppenthal is the chair. Senate staffers who have been around for twenty years cannot recall a situation where this action occurred.
The Senate has adjourned for the evening and will pick up tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to go to Floor. Upon adjournment of floor, we will go to the Rules committee and then Caucus.
We are counting down to a state shutdown. It is now at 25 hours and 15 minutes.