The Arizona budget was a form of political waterboarding

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 10.45.04 AMFrom the Rose Law Group Growlery

By Phil Riske | Managing Editor

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

Last week’s adoption of the new state budget was one of those things that go bump in the night.

There is no rational reason for the Legislature to stay up all night and into the next morning to pass a budget, controversial or not. What it is is a form of political waterboarding.

The new fiscal budget, which takes effect July 1, remains a hot topic because of reductions in education funding and because it was opposed by some Republicans. At the same time, several Democrats were accused of selling out in quid pro quo deals for their specific districts.

As a reporter, I witnessed many all-nighters at the state Capitol and saw how these political pajama parties work.

First, lawmakers are pretty much fried by all-day committee hearings and floor debates that extend into late afternoons and early evenings.

Second, A dinner break serves as to provide a time for liquid refreshment that oils deals. The meal also tends to make one sleepy.

Third, human nature is to surrender — and it only takes a few to give up their previously held positions — when the sun is gone, there are no cars on the street, and you can hear the rooster crowing.

The bottom line: The later it gets at the Capitol, the chances of those dreaded unintended consequences increase by the hour.

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