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Five-party talks in peril

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema spoke to our reporter at the conclusion of today’s five-party talks. “I’m not sure there’s going to be any more of those meetings,” she said. She identified the repeal of the equalization tax as the biggest obstacle. She said Republicans “won’t budge” on reinstating the tax, so the Dems asked the GOP to come up with other sources of $250 million to restore cuts to education and social programs. They refused, she said. The Dems agreed to the sales tax referral, all the BRB provisions and cuts deeper than what they wanted and asked only for K-12 funding, no prop tax repeal and a rebate to help the poor absorb the tax increase.

“We’ve moved a ton – even more than we thought our caucus would, she said, adding that the package they were willing to accept would likely not get the support of their entire caucus “because it’s too conservative.” But, she said she got the impression that Republicans didn’t want to lose a single vote. “That’s not bargaining. That’s ridiculous,” she said.

Meanwhile, another source said that many Dems now believe that Brewer will sign the budget and blame the deep cuts on the Dems’ unwillingness to support the sales tax referral that would have restored some of those cuts.

To read more on this item plus all the stories in the Aug. 31 Yellow Sheet Report, go to www.yellowsheetreport.com (Yellow Sheet Subscription Required).

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