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Brewer denies threatening government shutdown

House Speaker Kirk Adams and Senate President Bob Burns met with the governor for about an hour June 12 while the Senate was on the floor debating bills.

After the Senate recessed, Gov. Jan Brewer came to the floor and greeted veteran GOP lawmakers. She also struck a nostalgic tone. “This makes me sad. There’s my desk,” she said, nodding toward Sen. Thayer Verschoor’s front row seat.

Later, she spoke with reporters in the lobby, saying she wants to have a special election in October on a tax hike and that her staff is working on the budget. She disputed reports that she had told legislative Democratic leader Rep. David Lujan that she was prepared to shut down government if a deal isn’t struck.

Lujan said earlier in the week that if Brewer couldn’t get a deal with Republicans on the budget, she was prepared to shut down government.

“No, I did not say that,” Brewer said. “I said that we need to have bills. They need to get signed, and it would be a shame if for some reason – how did I put it? – that it would be a shame that if government would have to be shut down.”

When asked categorically if she were prepared to shut down government if she did not get a tax package or a budget she liked, Brewer said, “I am hopeful that we will get a solution to the problems that we are facing.”

Reporters also pressed Brewer on whether she has a contingency plan in case she and legislative leaders don’t come to an agreement. Brewer dodged. “I am hopeful for the best,” she said. “We certainly do not hope that we have to cross that bridge.”

Brewer said the state has been in a similar situation before, and sometimes the pressure of the clock ticking leads to resolutions.

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