The Arizona State Legislature enters its fourth special session of the year today, with the hopes of ironing out a plan to put some sort of dent in the current $2 billion budget gap.
One thing will be absent from this round of bickering, however: The standard squabble over a proposed one-cent sales tax increase.
Legislators and Governor Jan Brewer have spent a lot of time in past sessions arguing over whether to send the governor's plan for the temporary sales tax increase to the ballot.
It turns out that window has closed.
Leaders in the Legislature tell the Associated Press they made a mistake about how long it takes to get a referral for a special-election ballot, and there is no longer enough time to get the proposal on a March ballot.
Meanwhile, the state is almost completely out of money, and our budget situation has been upgraded from the second-worst in the entire country, to the worst -- now we're even worse-off than California.
Legislators will look at reducing spending for government programs during this session -- probably not a bad idea considering the state is almost out of money.
Then there's the wild card: The "I didn't pay enough fund."
The "I didn't pay enough fund" would ask taxpayers to pay more than required as a donation to the state government.
Considering the "I didn't pay enough fund" is the best idea they've come up with this far, we'll probably end up hoping that the fifth time's a charm.
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