Gov. Jan Brewer has acknowledged that she made mistakes as she pursued a budget deal with the Legislature, although she didn’t elaborate on exactly what they were
“Obviously I did something wrong. There were mistakes made in an effort to get them to understand the problem that Arizona was facing,” Brewer told reporters on Oct. 19, following a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.
Brewer told the crowd of about 25 that “bad times and bad choices were made probably on both sides, with the Legislature and with the Governor’s Office.”
When pressed on what specific mistakes she made, Brewer said she might not have done as good a job as possible of getting lawmakers to understand the magnitude of the state’s budget deficit, as well as the need for additional revenue. The governor has pushed for months for a temporary 1-cent sales tax increase, although the idea was rejected by the Legislature.
“I will take responsibility for that,” Brewer said. “I do realize they’ve got staff and they have the ability to do that. But maybe what I was trying to get done just wasn’t clear enough. Or maybe it was clear. I don’t know. But I’m sure that there were mistakes made on both sides. It was somewhat of a contentious session, much unlike what we have ever seen in the past in routine.”
In an early March speech to a joint session of the Legislature, Brewer unveiled her five-point economic plan, which included a temporary tax hike, though she did not specify until June which tax she wanted increased. Following the speech, Brewer went on a whirlwind tour of the state to promote her five-point plan, but was ultimately unable to get enough votes to put the sales tax hike on the ballot.