A handful of Democratic lawmakers held a press conference today to announce they are donating their special session paychecks to a nonprofit employment assistance organization and chastise their Republican colleagues for not extending federal unemployment benefits.Read More »
Sen. Scott Bundgaard, the Peoria Republican who is facing misdemeanor charges over a physical scuffle with his then-girlfriend in February, has entered a “not guilty” plea.Read More »
Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a budget that he said was filled with gimmicks — or as he put it, “legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings.” Editorial boards have praised Brown for exercising responsible fiscal judgment. Meanwhile, Brian Joseph of the Orange County Register has written that Brown’s own budget plan uses gimmicks, too.Read More »
Lawmakers made a difficult decision when they cut more than $200 million from the state’s health care system for the poor, but doing so wasn’t unconstitutional, Senate President Russell Pearce and House Speaker Andy Tobin argued yesterday in a brief opposing a lawsuit that aims to block the cuts.Read More »
Rep. Chester Crandell, a Heber Republican, is pushing a system of school finance reform of his own making that would pay school districts as students reach certain levels of achievement.Read More »
A state senator is accusing the Maricopa Community Colleges board of planning to break the law by reconsidering its tuition rates, a move the legislator said would result in undocumented students paying in-state tuition rates.Read More »
Not all Republicans are celebrating the special session as a victory over federal spending.
For representatives from rural areas, where unemployment is more than 20 percent in some pockets, it can be frustrating to hear their colleagues from urban centers like Phoenix denounce efforts to help the unemployed as unnecessary spending.
In his first real test in his new role, House Speaker Andy Tobin found himself battling Gov. Jan Brewer.
Six weeks after being chosen by his caucus, Tobin and Brewer squared off over an extension of unemployment insurance: Brewer wanted to extend the benefits by 20 weeks and make some limited reforms, while Tobin publicly challenged her to expand the special session to include corporate tax cuts and incentives aimed at stimulating job creation.
Like taxes, budget and immigration, the special session that failed to extend unemployment aid to those who have been out of work the longest became another arena in the war to define the soul of the Republican Party.
The program’s most vocal critics and most ardent supporters are, not surprisingly, members of the GOP.
After back-to-back legislative sessions in which Gov. Jan Brewer and GOP lawmakers appeared to put their differences behind them, work as a team and strive for a common agenda, the failed special session on unemployment benefits threatens to poison a relationship that has already seen its share of discord.Read More »