House passes measure to avoid school funding cuts, but Senate appears 1 GOP vote short

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The push to temporarily raise the state’s spending limit for K-12 schools and avoid nearly $1.2 billion in cuts that could close classrooms passed easily in the state House of Representatives but stalled out in the Senate, where it may only be one Republican shy of the 20 votes needed to pass it.

With the Senate’s 14 Democrats unanimously supporting the measure, legislative leaders need only five Republicans to get to the two-thirds supermajority required to raise the aggregate expenditure limit, which is necessary to allow schools to spend the money that lawmakers budgeted for K-12 education last year. 

Five Republican senators — Nancy Barto, Paul Boyer, Tyler Pace, T.J. Shope and Senate President Karen Fann, who sponsored the resolution to raise the cap — confirmed to the Arizona Mirror that they’re supporting the measure. 

That means there are 19 votes. But the pivotal 20th vote proved elusive on Tuesday. Fann delayed the start of the Senate’s floor session by more than a half hour while she tried to round up the last vote. She wouldn’t confirm how many votes she already has, but says she’s close. 


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February 2022