The Legislature voted unanimously on July 6 to pass the measures after Brewer vetoed a significant portion of the original budget that was passed on July 1.
“Republicans and Democrats united to fulfill my number one priority – preventing education from being decimated by massive cuts,” Brewer stated in a press release July 8. “I am pleased the Legislature retained higher funding levels for K-12, for universities, for the Department of Economic Security and for the Department of Health Services. This will allow Arizona to proceed with my application for federal stimulus funds, both for education and for AHCCCS.”
The state is now looking at a $2.5 billion budget deficit, which must be addressed before the ongoing special session adjourns. Brewer called for continued bipartisan collaboration in the Legislature, such as the cooperation that led to a 47-0 vote in the House and a 23-0 vote in the Senate.
“The Legislature still needs to work with me on a solution on the revenue side, because the budget is massively out of balance,” Brewer noted. “Each day that goes by represents a dangerous delay. The longer the Legislature – both Republicans and Democrats – postpones addressing our serious revenue shortfall, the deeper the revenue problem becomes. I am eager to work with both sides to design a revenue solution that balances the budget wisely, prudently and without delay.”
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle met independently of the governor on July 8 to negotiate a compromise to the continuing budget impasse. Earlier in the week, Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said Senate President Bob Burns and House Speaker Kirk Adams had rejected a request from the governor to meet regularly to solve the budget crisis.