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Legislature drops ‘trailer bills,’ signaling deal

The Arizona House and the Senate have introduced a set of bills that will reflect any agreement between legislative leaders and Gov. Jan Brewer for a final fiscal 2010 budget.

The move is largely procedural; the “trailer bills” do not actually contain the provisions of the budget deal—at least not yet.

Senate President Bob Burns said late on June 25 that legislative leaders and Gov. Jan Brewer are pretty close to a final agreement.

Brewer is pushing for a temporary one-cent sales tax hike. Burns said that is part of the negotiations.

The introduction of 11 bills and one ballot measure would allow the Legislature to pass a final budget within three days.

The measures would have to be heard in committee in both chambers, where they would be amended to reflect the provisions of the agreement. Then they would be brought to the floors of the House and Senate.

At one point, the set of bills from one chamber can be substituted with the identical set from the other chamber, fast-tracking the passage of the final budget packet.

The big question is whether any agreement between Burns and House Speaker Kirk Adams, on the one hand, and Brewer, on the other hand, would get the minimum votes in each chamber to advance. The budget packet needs at least 16 votes in the Senate and 31 in the House to pass.

Burns has said the plan is to send the “trailer bills” and the 10 budget bills that the Legislature passed on June 4 to the governor at the same time.

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