Wednesday, June 13, 2007

AZ Legislature session drags due to Jim Weiers

GOP's Weiers blocks budget progress

PHOENIX -- This legislative session now stands at 157 days and counting, and still no sign of a budget, largely due to poor management by House Speaker Jim Weiers (R-Phoenix).

The scoop is that negotiation meetings continue, but are often short and not very productive. As long as the Speaker continues to waste time pushing for his budget that no one else wants, the meetings will continue in that vein.

Many Republican House members are upset with the lack of progress, and the lack of leadership shown by Mr Weiers.

While Minority Leader Phil Lopes (D-Tucson), is keeping the House Dems well briefed on the status of budget negotiations, House Republican leadership has not communicated with their own members, several of whom have been pretty vocal in their disgust at the poor management.

The Senate adjourned Monday until Thursday because they had nothing else to do. As a way of speeding things up, Senator Bob Burns (R-Peoria) has set up a meeting of the Appropriations Committee when they return to hear the House budget bills and amend them to look like the Senate budget.

Whether that will help or hinder the House in a quest to get a good budget is anyone's guess, but it should be an interesting show.

- adapted from Rep. Steve Farley's report from Phx #24

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