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Senate sends $10.6B budget to House

After months of negotiations, the Senate today approved a $10.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year and sent it to the House, which failed to approve its own budget yesterday.
Senate leaders say the next move is to negotiate with House leadership to reconcile differences.
In about three hours, the Senate deliberated and voted on the budget bills. The general appropriations bill, S1086, won the approval of 24 senators; six voted against it. The budget was negotiated among Senate Republicans and Democrats and Gov. Janet Napolitano.
All the amendments supported by leadership were approved; those that were not supported, whether offered by Democrats or Republicans, failed.
As expected, Sen. Ron Gould, R-3, repeatedly tried to amend the proposal to reduce spending, including offering an amendment that would remove $25 million in funding for the 21st Century Fund. His last-ditch efforts, along with senators Jack Harper and Pamela Gorman, to get the Senate to adopt such amendments ultimately failed.
Near the end of the voting, leaders rose to commend members of the negotiating team for their hard work and members for their support.
“The budget is always a difficult process because you have to have many people supporting [it] and there are many different parts. Some of it you like; some of it you don’t. And finding that balance and bringing people together is always a challenging thing. We think we’ve been successful at it. We move forward to brining that reconciliation between the two bodies,” Senate President Tim Bee told reporters after the session.
The Democrats also thanked the Republicans for bringing them to the table.
Echoing Bee, Senate President Pro-Tem Robert Blendu, R-12, said, “We’re a long way from the finish line. What we have right now is a good start. Now we’re going to have to sit down with the House.”

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