Arizona House Republicans send Gov. Hobbs a budget she'll likely veto

By Lauren Gilger
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 7:34am
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 10:18am

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Arizona House of Representatives gallery
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
The Arizona House of Representatives.

Arizona House Republicans finally rounded up the votes Monday for a "skinny'' budget, essentially daring Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs to veto it.

And House Minority Leader Andres Cano (D-Tucson) said that's exactly what she's going to do.

The party-line vote came after Rep. Liz Harris (R-Chandler) reversed her vote of just a week earlier against the plan, leaving the Republicans without the necessary 31-vote majority.

She had initially vowed not vote for any legislation until lawmakers arranged to re-do the 2022 election. That has not happened, with apparently no legal way to do that. Harris then said her vote against the plan was because it spent too much money even though it largely is simply extending current funding for another year. But what she voted to approve Monday is no different than what she rejected a week earlier.

Harris has refused to speak to reporters.

Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, congratulated fellow Republicans for approving a new state budget just five weeks into the session, something he said was a record.

But it could prove to be a hollow victory. Cano said Republicans had — and have — a chance to do what has been done in the past: negotiate a bipartisan budget. And he said they need to recognize the political reality that a majority of Arizonans selected Hobbs as governor.

Rather than working with Democrats, including Hobbs, Republicans chose to go it alone. And he said they do that at their own risk.

"If the message from the GOP at the beginning of month 2 of the 56th Legislature is going to be, 'My way or the highway,' get ready for the highway,'' Cano said.

For more on the budget situation, The Show spoke to Hank Stephenson, co-founder of the Arizona Agenda.

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