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Prop. 105 referral removed from budget bill

Sen. Ron Gould speaks during a Senate floor discussion on Aug. 12. (Photo by Josh Coddington)

Sen. Ron Gould speaks during a Senate floor discussion on Aug. 12. (Photo by Josh Coddington)

The Senate has amended one of the budget bills to remove the provision that called for a ballot referral for the suspension of Proposition 105, but the bill still failed by a 14-11 vote.

Senate President Bob Burns added the amendment to H2015 when the Senate convened committee of the whole this afternoon (Aug. 12).

Burns said there was “too much risk” involved with the Prop. 105 provision, which would have allowed voters to decide whether to suspend protections for voter-approved spending and programs.

“I think there were a number of people concerned about it,” Burns said.

Also, Sen. Rebecca Rios, a Democrat from Apache Junction, offered an amendment to make tax cuts conditional on passage of sales tax hike at the ballot. Rios argued that, without her amendment, the Legislature would be ensuring tax cuts without assurance that the sales tax will pass. The amendment failed.

Senators approved a motion to limit lawmakers to one speech of less than 2 minutes for each additional motion on the budget bills. No follow-up questions were allowed.

Sen. Jim Waring, a Republican from Phoenix, had to cut off people while they have the microphone. Once, he had to remind Burns about the limits.

At one point Sen. Ron Gould, a Republican from Lake Havasu City, asked “Why am I even here?”

Gould later offered a motion to vote on the bill. Burns allowed it, saying they were going to vote on it at some point anyway.

Acting Senate Majority Whip Steve Pierce said he thought they had 16 votes for the measure this morning, but some lawmakers changed their minds. He refused to say who had flipped.

After H2015 failed, the Senate recessed. The House was called to order just before 1:30 p.m.

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