Arizona House Democrats refused to show up at the Capitol on Tuesday, blocking debate on a budget and a major tax cut primarily benefiting the wealthy. But the Senate plowed ahead, working until 2:30 Wednesday morning to pass the 11 bills including the tax cut.
Almost all of them passed along party lines with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.
Republicans also unveiled and approved a raft of new policy changes that include a massive expansion of the state’s private school voucher program.
“You have bills in here that essentially open up an expansion of vouchers that essentially fine our public school teachers," said State Representative Reginald Bolding (D). "Bills in here that would give access to our voting rolls to groups like the Cyber Ninjas and also retaliate on elected officials so I think the Dems were right to pause.”
Governor Doug Ducey released the following statement: “My thanks goes out to Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann, Senate Appropriations Chairman David Gowan, and their colleagues for working together to pass this historic budget. This balanced and fiscally responsible plan is a win for all Arizonans — it delivers unprecedented tax relief to working families and small businesses, it pays down state debt, and it continues to invest in our schools and infrastructure so we can keep Arizona competitive. I look forward to signing this budget once the Arizona House of Representatives votes and it reaches my desk.”