Arizona House Democrats denied quorum on June 22, stalling the Republican budget and the Flat Tax for third time.
June 22 was day 163 of the Arizona Legislature. The Legislature’s target end date is 100 days. Republicans have been twisting (breaking?) arms for two months to pass their extreme ideological budget. Every version of their budget has made it worse because they are inserting failed bills into the budget to buy votes from the bill sponsors.
Every version of this budget and all of the amendments were negotiated amongst a small group of Republicans behind closed doors. If the Republicans want to pass this budget with only Republican votes, they are going to have to have all of their members in the House to make quorum. The inconvenient truth is that some of them are out of state.
You can read these bills on request to speak and make comments on the azleg website. We are adjourned until 10 AM on Thursday, June 25.
We have to pass a budget by June 30 or the government shuts down. We are up against that deadline because Republicans chose to propose an extreme ideological budget, chose to not do any business on 26 days this session, and chose to adjourn for a week while Senate President Karen Fann took an Hawaiian vacation. Many members have travel plans coming up or are currently on vacation somewhere.
Republicans in US Senate are saying that everything needs 60 votes to pass because important bills have to be bipartisan. Why are Arizona Republicans satisfied with 31 partisan votes to pass a ~$12.7 billion budget which includes $2 billion in tax giveaways for the rich and codification of education-related issues the voters are against? Give the Democrats a budget we can vote for. Give us a budget that will get 60 votes.
CORRECTION and UPDATE, June 23: The Republican budget keeps changing as they twist members arms to buy votes. Both the developer tax credit and the qualified investor tax credit have been removed. The $45 million tax credit which enables military brass to write off their entire pensions is still in the budget.
With the Senate debates on June 22, many of other HORRIBLE ideas have been added to the budget. The Arizona Senate passed the budget on party lines in the middle of the night on June 23, 2021. Since the House Dems denied quorum on June 22, we had time to prepare for the budget marathon that faces us on June 24. Speaker Rusty Bowers has suspended virtual participation on the floor and assistant work from home. All Republicans who were out of town on Tuesday have been called to the capitol for Thursday to make quorum and to vote on the budget.