arizona capitol

Today, at the capitol, two events happened that usually go hand-in-hand. The legislature finally sent a budget to the governor, and immediately adjourned sine die. As usual, a fair amount of bills that were awaiting action, automatically died. We at People’s Lobbyists will be issuing a full report on the bills we tracked, shortly after the governor takes final action.

The budget that the Republican “controlled” legislature sent to the governor is very much a Democrat budget, containing a whopping eighteen billion dollars of expenses. It is not clear why they had to wait until the last week of the fiscal year to do this. They could have passed this poor excuse for a budget two or three months ago.

It took a five-billion-dollar bribe to buy the votes of most Democrats, but the bad thing is that thirty-one of the forty-seven Republicans went along with the bribe.

To their credit, sixteen Republicans opposed at least some of the seventeen bills that comprise the FY2023 budget. Here is how this breaks down:

Six Republicans voted against all the budget bills. They were Grantham, Hoffman, Parker, Petersen, Rogers and Ugenti-Rita. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Another ten Republicans voted against some or most of the budget bills. They were Blackman, Burges, Carter, Chaplik, Diaz, Fillmore, Finchem, Griffin, Pingerelli, and Townsend. They also should be thanked and rewarded for their efforts.

Folks who vote in districts where any of those thirty-one Democrat-budget-supporting Republicans is an incumbent, should evaluate their vote in the upcoming primary very carefully.

A word of caution is in order here, because this horrendous budget is only a symptom of a much deeper problem. The real disease is that Republicans have only a one-vote majority in each chamber. Under those circumstances it is nearly impossible to pass a conservative budget. There are two reasons for that sad state of affairs.

One is what has been characterized as the Californication of Arizona. It is the influx of people from California and other liberal states, who bring with them their sick, socialist mindsets, and vote accordingly.

The other reason is that the Republican Party has failed miserably at promoting the Republican platform and Republican ideals.

Until that situation is remedied, we will continue to experience more of the same.

The 17 bills that comprise this budget are HB2855 through HB2872. Readers who wish to read those bills and/or see exactly how everyone voted on each bill, can do it by going to the legislature’s website. Those who are not sure how to do it, may obtain detailed instructions by clicking on BILL INFO

So, what is so bad about this budget deal? We won’t know just how bad it is until a thorough analysis is done. Currently there are a few organizations and individuals engaged in such an analysis. We will know more in a few days. In the meantime, there are some provisions that we already know are disastrous, such as:

This budget is like a Christmas tree with at least $5 Billion worth of “ornaments” aimed at obtaining support from a variety of special interest groups, contrasted with very little relief for taxpayers.

It blows through the budget surplus we had, and then some. The prevailing philosophy at the capitol is one of total disregard for fiscal sanity. The main debate was on how to spend the funds available instead of considering saving them, reducing debt, or just giving them back to those who earned them.

But the most egregious feature of this budget is that it is very likely to bankrupt the state by the time FY2024 or FY2025 rolls in. This is not idle talk. We have a precedent in the FY2008 budget. Remember what happened in 2009 and 2010? Remember mortgaging the state buildings?

What happened was that the 2008 budget had a 1% increase over the 2007 budget ($9.8 Billion to $9.9 Billion), at a time when the impending recession indicated a reduction in spending, not an increase.

Fast forward to the 2022. We are facing runaway inflation, widespread shortages, and the worst overall economy in over 40 years, thanks to Biden’s Marxist economic policies. Yet, we have passed a budget with a 39% increase in spending (from $12.8 Billion to $17.8 Billion). If a 1% expenditure increase in 2008 was irresponsible, and we now know it was, then a 39% expenditure increase in 2022 is 39 times more irresponsible. When the chickens come home to roost in 2023 and 2024, how prepared are we to deal with it?

While the budget deal is getting most of the attention, there is still some post sine die unfinished business, namely the governor’s disposition of the bills that have been sent to him. Here is the list of the bills that we are tracking and have been sent to the governor:

To learn more, or sign-up for alerts, visit our website at The Arizona People’s Lobbyists

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