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Special session begins today

Gov. Jan Brewer announced March 5 that the Legislature will begin the second special session of the year today to work on a budget that will fill in a deficit of $3.4 billion in the fiscal 2010 and 2011 budgets.

Republican leaders have been meeting with caucus members and the Governor’s Office all last week to finalize a deal with Brewer and round up votes for the spending plan. It has not been released publicly, but documents obtained by Arizona Capitol Times show it includes reductions of more than $1.1 billion in state spending next year.

McComish said GOP leaders have reached “a basic agreement” with Brewer. They had been asking her to issue the special session call all last week, he said, as a way to pressure Republican holdouts in the Senate to support the budget.

“We’re pretty sure we have 31 (votes in the House), and the Senate is pretty close,” he said on March 5.

The plan will be released sometime today (March 8), McComish said, and it will be considered by House and Senate Appropriations committees March 9.

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