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Brewer places moratorium on bills until budget done

Chief among Gov. Jan Brewer's goals for this session is personnel reform. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Talks on the budget may be on the verge of breaking down, as Gov. Jan Brewer today told Republican legislative leaders that she will not sign any more bills until the budget is done.

“The governor has indicated to leadership that, outside of the bills that are on her desk now, she won’t sign any more bills until there’s a budget,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said.

Benson said the governor delivered the message to Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin in a meeting this morning.

Messages left with Pierce, Tobin and their top aides were not immediately returned.

But Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs said he would prefer that lawmakers continue voting on bills.

“I would advocate that we still send her bills. It’s our job,” he said

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.

Instead, they introduced a spending package that socks away nearly $500 million for use in 2014, when the temporary one-cent sales tax increase that Brewer championed expires and the state is force to increase its public health care rolls under the federal health care reform law.

That spending plan was approved by legislative budget committees in February, but has yet to advance to the floor in either the House or Senate while legislative Republicans and the Governor’s Office attempted to negotiate a compromise.

Benson reiterated Brewer’s commitment to the budget proposal she released in January and said the plan backed by Republican legislators doesn’t pass muster.

“The governor stands wholeheartedly behind her budget proposal and isn’t going to sign any budget that short-changes Arizona’s ability to compete in the future or breaks her oath with voters on Prop 100,” said Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson.


  1. Concerned Citizen

    Reform broken criminal justice laws and draconian mandatory minimum sentencing and millions upon millions of taxpayer $$’s would be saved and could be spent on education rather than the mass incarceration of Arizona’s people. The legislators have done the people of Arizona a disservice by sweeping this crisis under the rug for too many years.

  2. Am I misinformed?

    Isn’t this moot? If the governor doesn’t sign a bill, doesn’t it becoue law in 7 days unless she actually vetoes it?

  3. Seeking the Truth

    URGENT! As you may have heard, Corrections Corporation of America sent a letter to 48 US Governors offering to buy their state’s prisons. CCA offered to manage those prisons for 20 years…if the state promises to keep them 90% full. Here is a link to an article about the letter:

    CCA is one of five private, for-profit prison corporations currently bidding for a contract to build and manage 2,000 new private prison beds here in the state of Arizona. Arizona does not need and cannot afford these beds. Our state is barely digging out of the recession hole and income projections are not looking as rosy as originally thought. But our prison population is declining for the first time in decades, so the $17 million expenditure is totally unnecessary.

    The United Methodists and other faith groups have organized a call-in day to governors across the country TODAY. Here is a link with information:

    · Say no to CCA’s obscene offer to buy AZ’s prisons
    · Cancel the RFP for 2,000 beds and do not sign contracts for any more private prisons

    The in-state toll free number for Gov Brewer is: 1-800-253-0883.
    For those in Phoenix, it is 602-542-4331.
    For those of you in Tucson, you can call her Tucson office, 520.628-6580

  4. Seeking the Truth

    The Florida state senate vetoed the bill for GEO Corp. to “take-over” their state prisons. Arizona should veto the CCA “take-over” its state prisons, as well!

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