UPDATE, 1/31: Republican Reps. Vic Williams, Rich Crandall, Russ Jones and Steve Court all flip-flopped on supporting fair budget options by sheepishly voting for the harmful Republican FY09 budget 'fix'.
PHOENIX -- House Democrats won bipartisan support today in the appropriations committee for nearly $850 million in options to decrease the state’s budget shortfall without raising taxes, which would ease drastic budget cuts and economic pain on children and middle-class families in Arizona.
“We are happy that members of our committee worked together in a bipartisan effort and came to a bipartisan agreement that shows we are open to protecting education by considering options to decrease the budget deficit without raising taxes,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema.
The House Appropriations Committee voted 7-4 to pass Sinema’s substitute motion that the Appropriations Committee remain open to additional options to reduce the revenue shortfall as they consider the 2009 budget solution.
Reps. Sinema, David Schapira, Olivia Cajero Bedford, Vic Williams, Rich Crandall, Russ Jones and Steve Court all voted to pass the motion. Reps. John Kavanagh, Nancy McLain, Andy Biggs and Rick Murphy voted against it.
“The proposed cut to education – schools, community colleges and universities – will devastate the educational infrastructure in our state and hurt our state’s long-term economic vitality,” Sinema said. “We need to focus on what we can do to ease deep cuts to education and universities, state agencies and state employee pay at a time when families are worried about economic security. We have to consider all options on the table, including options to decrease our budget shortfall.”
I, the House Dems and others are leading the way toward a wise bipartisan solution to Arizona's budget crisis.
- adapted from House Dems PIO