News for Prescott AZ - AmericanTowns.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

Capitol Insider - March 21, 2011

 

 

March 21, 2011

 

 

Senate Passes Budget

 

Last week, normal legislative activities in the Senate slowed or even halted as a result of the budget. When the Senate budget was introduced, it was clear that instead of balancing the budget by borrowing money, deferring payments to schools or resorting to other accounting maneuvers, the Senate was proposing to cuts spending as much as it possibly could. Under the Senate’s budget, the state will reduce spending by $118 million, approximately $46 million more than what the governor’s budget plan included, this all in an effort to help balance a $543 million deficit in fiscal year 2011. In addition, the legislature will sweep approximately $53 million in fees collected by state agencies; however, the rest of the deficit, totaling about $374 million will not be fixed. What this means is that the negative balance will be folded into and addressed in the budget for fiscal year 2012.

 

Around 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening, the Senate passed all 13 budget bills. With a few exceptions, the Republican caucus stood united on all votes. Senator Linda Gray voted against SB 1617 (the K-12 budget reconciliation bill) and Senator John McComish voted against SB 1618 (the higher education budget reconciliation bill). Both Senator Gray and Senator McComish voted against SB 1621 (the criminal justice budget reconciliation bill). All 13 bills have been transmitted to the House of Representatives.

 

House Reacts to Senate Budget

 

Traditionally, when a budget is introduced, it is one that both the House of Representatives and the Senate compromise on and offer together. However, that did not hold true this time around when the Senate introduced and passed their own budget. According to Speaker Kirk Adams, budget discussions between the two chambers had been very productive up until the Senate proposed their own budget. Speaker Adams further expressed concerns with the Senate budget stating, “What the Senate plan’s passage means is that, when those talks resume, the baseline for the negotiations will be the Senate budget, not Brewer’s January proposal, which had been the starting point for the discussion.”

 

With the Senate budget now in the House, Speaker Adams and Representative Kavanagh (Appropriations Chairman) have been holding small group discussions with House members. It is rumored that the House has been discussing larger reductions than what the Senate budget included. According to some, the difference could be as much as $300 million in additional reductions.

 

It is anticipated by most that the House will take action on the Senate budget as early as this week. Look for updates in the upcoming Capitol Insider.

 

Immigration Bills Hit a Roadblock

 

In addition to the budget, another highly contentious subject that was dealt with this week was five Senate immigration bills. On Thursday, the Senate resoundingly rejected all five measures. In four of the five bills, nearly half of the majority Republicans joined with the Democrats in voting no. When the Republicans who voted no explained their vote on the floor, many reiterated that what they want the legislative body to focus on is creating jobs, aiding the economy and fixing the budget.

 

It is uncertain if life will be revived into any of these five bills, but it seems to be a common theme amongst legislators that immigration is not their number one priority this session. With this in mind, it is the hope of many that normal legislative work can resume in the following weeks of session.

 

— NICOLE LASLAVIC, AAR GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DIRECTOR

 

Visit RALLiNOW.com for all the latest legislative information.

Contact Legislative and Political Affairs

Arizona Association of REALTORS®

255 E. Osborn Rd., Ste. 200  •  Phoenix, Arizona 85012

www.aaronline.com

 

Telephone: (602) 248-7787  •  Fax: (602) 351-2471

Copyright © 2011 Arizona Association of REALTORS®.

All rights reserved.

 



 

This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information

http://bradbergamini.com or http://everythingprescott.com

 

 

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