Scenes From a (Near) Shutdown; Lawmakers Work After Midnight, Unsure if Gov Will Sign Budget Bill


The Arizona Legislature was abuzz with lawmakers, lobbyists, curious onlookers, and students as a government shutdown at midnight loomed. The place was busier than a typical weekday afternoon.

Most of the students and onlookers are gone now, but the show is still going on.

Folks like lobbyist Mike Gardner and Tucson lawmaker Vic Williams say they believe Governor Brewer will sign the budget bill now being considered and avert the shutdown.

"The governor's painted herself into a corner," Williams says, meaning that he thinks she'll be forced to sign it.

Lawmakers shot down various amendments by Democrats and other wishful thinkers as we watched from the gallery starting about 11 p.m. 

"This is such a farce," said a woman behind us in the gallery with an oxygen tank and nose tube.

The process went on till after midnight, when we bolted.











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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.