Democratic legislative leaders say Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is abandoning millions of Arizonans represented by Democrats because she is choosing only to negotiate with Republican lawmakers, and the result could be a budget that is disastrous for Arizona.
“The Legislature has had six months to balance the budget and now it has come down to two weeks. It’s pathetic that Gov. Brewer and Republicans aren’t cooperating. It’s disappointing that they would be so stubborn that they would leave the state’s future hanging in the balance while they remain in a standoff,” said House Minority Leader David Lujan.
The result of Brewer working only with Republicans could be a hybrid of the proposals each side has offered. That doesn’t sit well with Democrats, Lujan said, because those budgets make deep cuts to state spending, particularly in education and social services. Such a compromise could also include a 1-cent sales tax increase, which Brewer has called for since March.
“This (possibility) represents the worst of the Governor Brewer plan and the worst of the Republican budget,” he said.
Democrats have lobbied Brewer and Republicans for months to be included in the negotiations, but thus far they have been relegated to the sidelines. Lujan said his fellow Democrats won’t support any budget proposal they don’t have a hand in crafting.