ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012

Legislative overview

Today is the 89th day of the second regular session of Arizona's Centennial Legislature. During the past week, Governor Brewer vetoed HB 2647 (county stadium districts; Rio Nuevo). Interestingly, her veto letter focused little on the substance of the legislation; rather, it explained that the she vetoed the bill because of its financial implications, stating that, "it is unwise to enact legislation that has a fiscal impact or changes tax policy until we have reached an agreement on projected revenues and appropriated expenditures as part of a state budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013." The Governor further wrote: "I cannot sign into law … any other measure with a fiscal impact, while other critically important funding issues … remain unresolved in the state budget."

The budgets unveiled by the Governor and the Legislature are some $500 million apart in their spending proposals for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Lawmakers propose to set aside $200 million for debt reduction and another $250 million for a rainy day fund (in anticipation of the expiration of the temporary one-cent sales tax in 2013 and higher federal healthcare costs). At the same time, the Governor proposes additional spending for school maintenance and construction, reading programs, services for the seriously mentally ill, private prison beds and child welfare programs.

Most legislative activity during the past week involved the consideration of bills that had already passed their houses of origin. In other words, the Senate voted mostly on House bills previously approved by the House and vice versa.

The Legislature has also entered the season of conference committees. After a bill has passed one chamber and is later amended and passed by the second chamber, the original chamber can concur with or refuse the changes. If the chamber concurs, then the bill proceeds to its final passage vote in its original chamber. If the chamber refuses, the bill goes to a conference committee where differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill are reconciled, and a conference agreement is produced. Conference agreements must then be passed by both chambers before proceeding to the governor for signature or veto.



Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012
ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012
ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012
ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012
ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012
ISSUE 13 - April 6, 2012