No budget deal yet, but House Republicans say they’re getting closer

Arizona House chambers/Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

A procedural motion to clear the way for budget bills in the Arizona House of Representatives isn’t a sign that a deal is near.

The House on Wednesday approved a motion to allow the introduction of budget bills by House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Majority Leader Warren Petersen and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Regina Cobb. But there isn’t yet a deal that would end the protracted budget fight between Republican lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey, which has led the 2019 legislative session to drag on into its 122nd day.

“Rep. Petersen’s motion was in anticipation of an eventual budget agreement,” said Matt Specht, a spokesman for the House Republicans.

However, GOP lawmakers say they’ve largely overcome one of the biggest stumbling blocks: the dispute over how to conform Arizona’s income tax laws with the federal tax code. Cobb, R-Kingman, said that leaves the size of the state’s rainy day fund as the largest unresolved issue standing in the way of a budget deal.

“I think we’ve ironed out the conformity part of it,” Cobb said. “That was our big hang-up, I think, with really getting the budget moving forward.”


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