The Arizona Legislature completed its tenth week of session. Next week is the last week to hear bills in committee. Members continue to meet to discuss the budget. Leadership has announced that a rough draft budget outline will be released in the coming weeks, and will likely be a starting point for further discussion. Below are some of the key issues before the Legislature currently:
On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the voter-approved law. Chief Justice Scott Bales issued the order, stating the court unanimously rejected the arguments from business groups that the law is unconstitutional. “While we’re disappointed that the result did not go our way, we respect the court’s ruling,” said Brett Johnson, the attorney for the business groups. Governor Doug Ducey, who opposed Proposition 206, said, “The Supreme Court has spoken. We’re going to follow the law.”
Governor Doug Ducey who has vowed to cut taxes every year he’s in office now says he’s open to extending a current sales tax that helps fund education – and possibly to increasing it. “Proposition 301 was written a long time ago in a different time and place, and education has changed, the needs of education have changed,” he said. Ducey will continue to meet with stakeholders. “Things have changed – there are not going to be any new taxes. This is a funding program, and we’re going to continue a funding program,” he said.
Senator Bob Worsley’s SB1270 aims to permit a county with a population of at least 1.2 million people to reauthorize a county transportation excise tax for a term of 10 to 20 years. The bill was heard on Wednesday in House Means and Ways. “We think 1270 has some deficiencies and really hinders our ability to plan for transportation,” said Amy Rigler. The bill failed with a vote of 3-6.