Monday's Special Session on State Budget Delayed; Senator Carolyn Allen Wants to Quit
Last Thursday, the Arizona Legislature failed to pass pieces of legislation that would shave about $400 million off of the state's $2 billion budget shortfall. The special session was supposed to reconvene today, but it seems as though that's not happening either.
The proceedings were delayed -- again -- as Senate Republicans try to muster up some Democratic support for the bills that they thought they had last week until Republican Senator Thayer Verschoor, the decisive 16th vote, went AWOL.
All the drama is apparently taking its toll on Senator Carolyn Allen.
Allen took a spill down a stairwell at the Capitol back in August and has been nursing a banged up knee ever since. She apparently is a little bitter.
"I'm completely done with this place," Allen tells the Arizona Guardian. "I am so tired of these games. If I didn't feel obligated to serve out my term, I'd quit."
And miss all the fun?
Since Republicans apparently have no idea how members of their own party are going to vote -- or if they're even gonna show up -- Senate President Bob Burns is seeking the support of Democrats Jorge Garcia and Albert Hale.
In exchange for their support, the deal would have to include the use of federal impact aid money to make up for budget reductions to school districts on Indian reservations.
It's not clear when the special session will resume, or, as we saw last week, who's even going to show up.
Meantime, not to worry -- the state just took out a $700 million loan from Bank of America to pay its bills and employees, so at least the legislators will be getting paid as they continue bungle the budget.
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