By Julia Shumway and Nathan Brown | Arizona Capitol Times
After 171 days and several false starts and with mere hours to spare before a government shutdown, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a budget and the Arizona Legislature finally succeeded in adjourning sine die at 4:54 p.m. Wednesday.
The day was a whirlwind of votes, as lawmakers eager to pass their last-minute pet projects threw bills up for votes without checking if they would pass first. Some, including a ban on certain types of diversity training and a large increase in per diem payments for lawmakers who live outside of Maricopa County, succeeded. Others, including criminal penalties for damaging Confederate monuments and a flood control district bill that failed on an unusually dramatic 7-51 vote, did not.
Most importantly, the House and Senate finally reached an agreement on the budget bill governing K-12 education. Under an amendment offered by Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Glendale, and accepted by Republicans in both chambers, requirements for a civics curriculum favored by House Republicans are out of the budget, as is Boyer’s massive school voucher expansion.