By Maria Polletta and Dustin Gardiner | Arizona Republic
It’s going to be a long summer at the state Capitol.
As the legislative session hits its 100th day, Arizona lawmakers seem no closer to passing a state budget than they were when the governor unveiled his fiscal priorities three months ago.
In fact, the Legislature and Governor’s Office still can’t agree on a series of sticking points that will determine how much money the state has available to spend in the next year, let alone how to spend it.
Should the state adjust its tax code and pocket the windfall, or should it return that money to taxpayers?
Should it put away half a billion dollars to bulk up its rainy-day fund, or should some of that cash go to infrastructure and schools?
Is there a real chance lawmakers could overturn the controversial vehicle-registration fee passed last year, or is that a done deal?
“We feel what we do in this moment will very much determine our fiscal position down the road,” said Patrick Ptak, spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey. “We really feel this is the most important budget and session that the governor has had in his going on five years in office.”
These are the key issues complicating budget talks.