After Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday told GOP legislative leaders that she will veto any bills that land on her desk before a budget is completed, the warning is being heeded in the Senate.
“I am not sending any bills to her today,” said Senate President Steve Pierce. “She asked not to. So we’re going to try and help her out and work with her.”
But Pierce said the Senate will continue its business and vote on House bills today.
The Senate leader said they can wait “a few days” to accommodate the governor’s wishes.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Andy Tobin said he wasn’t overly concerned about the governor’s moratorium on bills, saying that very little legislation still needs final approval – and most bills still waiting on votes have a financial component and will need to be resolved in the budget, anyway.
“I’m not going to overreact,” he said.
Tobin chalked up Brewer’s actions to “part of the negotiating process” and indicated the House will refrain from sending bills to the governor for the time being.
Pierce also described the moratorium on sending bills to the governor as a “temporary thing.”
“I don’t see it as any big deal. She requested. We’re trying to work with her, and say, ‘Ok, let’s work on the budget.’ That’s what we’re doing,” Pierce said.
Both chambers have scheduled votes on bills today, but most of the bills have been amended, which means they will require one more vote before they are sent to Brewer. Six bills with no amendments were on the House and Senate calendars today, and it is unclear if lawmakers will vote on them, since doing so would send the bills to the governor.
Yesterday, in response to the governor’s veto threat, the Senate abruptly ended its work without voting on any bills. In a meeting yesterday morning with Tobin and Pierce, Brewer delivered her ultimatum on the budget.
Republican lawmakers and Brewer have been at loggerheads over a budget deal all session.
The governor called for increased spending in education and some social programs, but Republicans have said she wants to spend too much money.
- Jim Small contributed to this story.