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The answer is: NOT EASILY


And the final Jeopardy question is....

how do you cut a budget already in progress?


The governor has proposed cuts to balance the budget deficit being played out in Arizona right now. Projected revenue has not come in at the expected number and cuts must be made. The largest revenue decline was in income tax monies as the 2.5 flat tax hailed by the former governor went into effect in 2023. The extreme outlay of voucher money was also way, way over projected numbers. Suggested cuts to transportation and some water programs, made by Governor Hobbs, did not sit well with republicans when presented last week. Most of her suggestions were for projects still on the drawing board.

Budget building is usually a balance of negotiations with no one getting all they want but reaching a bottom line all sides can live with. With the non-negotiable atmosphere at the legislature, we'll see if some agreement can be reached before the state's funding runs dry. The next few weeks probably won't be pretty.


 

Sen. Kavanagh has his first bill of the session on the move. SB1024 passed the senate Health and Human Services Committee with a unanimous YES vote.  According to the Bill Summary, SB1024 “Expands the definition of developmental disability to include a severe, chronic disability that is attributable to spina bifida for the purpose of receiving services through the Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).” This exact bill was offered last session when it passed out of the Senate with 4 NO votes, all republicans, but was never heard in the House chamber.  The bill now needs to pass the Senate Appropriations committee. The estimate for increased spending ranges from $7 to $21.4 Million annually.

Also from Senator Kavanagh; he’s still fighting culture wars. SB1166 requires a school to notify parents when someone identifies a student by a name not on their official record or differing from their biological sex.

Does Kavanagh enjoy producing veto bait? SB1131 would void the results of a local election with less than a 25% turnout and force a redo at the next statewide election.


Rep. Kolodin has put forward HB2150 which would allow farmers to sell their groundwater rights to developers within an Active Management Area (AMA). He says the free market will solve Arizona’s water shortage.


Lawmakers still have 2 weeks to introduce new bills before the cutoff.  After that time new ideas can be offered as an amendment to a bill already making it’s way through the system as a “striker amendment”. A “striker” can gut the entire language of a bill and turn it into something else. The vehicles used for a “striker” are usually not bills lawmakers want to pass, but are place holder bills. They are written as “technical” correction bills which change a numeral to a written number or change a lower case word to upper case. They hold a place for a “striker” As of this writing there are 73 “technical correction” bills offered. Kolodin has sponsored ten “technical correction” bills.

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