Republican Arizona state legislators of the House and Senate are moving forward with their previously proposed continuation budget, referred to as a “skinny budget,” which members call the financially responsible move to ensure state entities are funded and continue without issue.
“This is a budget that recognizes the political and economic realities in our state right now. It’s a responsible plan based on the budget funding approved last session with bipartisan support. It fully funds our state’s obligations and ensures that essential functions of state government will continue without interruption,” said State Representative David Livingston (R-Peoria)(Pictured above, left).
House Republicans Introduce Responsible Budget to Fully Fund Priorities of the State of Arizona ✅
Statement from House Appropriations Chairman David @Livingston4AZ 👉 https://t.co/xclFxLc2hg@AZHouseGOP #AZLeg pic.twitter.com/59cAlmNL0z
— Arizona House Republicans (@AZHouseGOP) January 31, 2023
The Arizona Sun Times reached out to the House Majority team for more information but did not hear back before publishing time.
Livingston is the chairman of the House Appropriations and introduced the 13 budget bills. House Bill (HB) 2570 presents the general appropriations for the 2023-24 fiscal year (FY) and lays out funding for state agencies. Livingston’s bills were presented at the Appropriations Committee meeting held Wednesday afternoon.
The spending allocated in this new budget from Livingston hits all the same marks as the state budget passed by Former Governor Doug Ducey and the legislature in 2022. The continuation budget adjusts the previous formulas to meet needs caused by inflation to ensure the appropriated funds keep up with rising prices.
Moreover, State Senator John Kavanaugh (R-Fountain Hills) (Pictured above, Right) introduced mirror bills of the continuation budget into the Senate, which were heard at Tuesday’s Senate Appropriations Committee meeting. The bills passed through the committee on party lines.
During the meeting, State Senator Anthony Kern (R-Glendale) (Pictured above, center) spoke in the budget’s favor, calling it the responsible move to keep the state functioning.
“I think it’s a very responsible budget because we do not know what will happen in the future in Arizona,” Kern said. “This bill keeps the government running, so we do not have a government shut down, and I think it’s a very responsible budget.”
Economic security during uncertain times… that's what Senate Republicans are accomplishing with our budget proposal that passed out of Appropriations Committee today.
Senator @anthonykernAZ explains why this budget is a sensible approach. pic.twitter.com/QKMJAbQ2J9
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) January 31, 2023
As reported by Tucson.com, a new spending plan for the state needs to be in place by July 1st. If the state legislature and governor cannot agree upon a new spending plan, it could risk a government shutdown. Kavanaugh said this bill would ensure that state employees and those who rely on state money will not be hurt should a government shutdown occur.
As reported by The Sun Times, both Senate and House Republicans announced plans to introduce the continuation budget earlier in January. The legislators promised that once the skinny budget was passed, they would work with the rest of the legislature to appropriate the remaining state funds. Arizona currently has a $1.4 billion budget surplus.
However, getting the budget approved may be an issue for the Republicans. After Kavanaugh submitted the skinny budget, House Democrats released a statement opposing the bills. The House minority accused Republicans of pursuing a partisan “carbon copy” of the 2022 budget rather than trying to work across the aisle to create a new, bi-partisan budget.
PRESS RELEASE: 'It's Time, Negotiate' – Senate, House Democrats React to GOP Partisan Placeholder Budget Plan #azleg pic.twitter.com/OI646tisEF
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) January 31, 2023
The Republicans ultimately have a majority in the House and Senate, but even if the budget passes along party lines, it still must appear before Gov. Katie Hobbs. Josselyn Berry, a spokesperson for Hobbs, told The Sun Times Hobbs would not be interested in a continuation budget, meaning a veto would likely come.
State Representative Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu) said a veto on this budget might ultimately put state agencies at risk.
The Arizona House and Senate have now officially dropped budget bills. Will Gov. Hobbs sign the budget to make sure Arizona stays open? Or will she veto the budget and threaten the possibility of closing our schools, law enforcement agencies, and heathcare services?
— Rep. Leo Biasiucci (@Leo4AzHouse) January 31, 2023
While it is the legislature’s job to pass a budget, Hobbs did release her budget priorities. However, Republicans legislators said her proposals would be a non-starter in the House or Senate.
– – –
Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Anthony Kern” by Anthony Kern. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.
2 Thoughts to “Republican Arizona State Legislature Moves Forward with Proposed Continuation Budget Despite Democrat Backlash”
Hobbs will do anything and everything to ensure Arizona goes down the tubes like California. She should not be in the Governor’s Office. The cheating that took place, through the manipulation of the machines, is unacceptable. Recall now!!!!!
Keep fighting the good fight! We support you! Have some balls to do the right thing!