Brewer wants Legislature to take up her prioritiesby Mary Jo Pitzl on Mar. 19, 2013, under Arizona Republic News
Gov. Jan Brewer is getting impatient with the Legislature’s lack of attention to her priorities, telling lawmakers to slow down on sending her other bills until they get moving on the state budget, Medicaid expansion and sales-tax reform.
On Tuesday, Senate President Andy Biggs held off on a final vote on House Bill 2082, which would make state Lottery winners’ names private.
“We’re kind of slowing down the amount of bills we’re sending to the governor,” Biggs, R-Gilbert, told reporters after the measure, a sure shot for passage, failed to come up for a vote. “We’re kind of pacing ourselves while we work on some major issues.”
But slowing down is exactly what the governor does not want to see the Legislature do, said Matthew Benson, Brewer’s spokesman.
“The governor would like to see some movement on her key initiatives, like Medicaid and TPT,” Benson said.
TPT is the state transaction privilege tax. A bill to streamline the tax, which effectively is the sales tax, is set for a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon.
The bill had stalled in the House, where Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, had worried that the bill’s overhaul of the construction sales tax could hurt local governments and where Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, had not scheduled it for a hearing. Kavanagh’s wife, Linda, is Fountain Hills’ mayor.
Also today, the House Appropriations Committee will hold an informational hearing on Medicaid expansion.
Tuesday was the 65th day of the legislative session and the informal deadline for when lawmakers hoped to have a state budget. But there is no sign of a budget.
Benson said the governor is not issuing an ultimatum to lawmakers, something she did in 2009 when she was trying to persuade the Legislature to send a sales-tax increase to the ballot. He called the governor’s message to legislative leaders “a love tap” and said it would be abundantly clear when, or if, the governor drew a firm line on legislative action.
The Lottery bill has had easy sailing through the Legislature, and a vote Tuesday would have sent the measure to Brewer’s desk. HB 2082 would allow Lottery winners to keep their names private.