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Bipartisanship a thing of the past in Arizona Senate

Bipartisanship a thing of the past in Arizona Senate

The bipartisanship that was displayed when Senate Republicans and Democrats cooperated to pass the sales tax referral last month appears to have flickered out since then.

Republicans are expected to hunker down to work on the fiscal 2011 budget next week, but Democrats are not involved in the discussions.

“We have to wait (until) the governor’s budget fails on its merit. At that point, we would be ready to talk to President Burns and our colleagues about how we get through this next year,” said Senate Minority Leader Jorge Garcia.

In short, the Senate has gone back to its familiar ways. Senate Republicans will put together a budget proposal and try to cobble 16 votes from their caucus. Democrats will oppose the GOP bills en masse, and they’ll be involved in the budget work only if Republicans switch to Plan B.

“That’s the way it works,” Senate President Bob Burns said. “I don’t think it would work any different if they were in the majority. They would work with their caucus first, and then they would come to the minority.”

Garcia agreed, saying he would do the same thing if he was in Burns’ position.

-By Luige del Puerto

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