ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs says bipartisan budget agreement is ‘very close’

Apr 13, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: 2:56 pm

(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)...

(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)

(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs believes a budget deal isn’t far away, a position the Democrat admits she wasn’t expecting to be in three months into the job.

“I think we’re very close to a bipartisan agreement there,” Hobbs said Wednesday as a press conference recapping her first 100 days in office. “I don’t think anyone thought we would be at that place in the first 100 days, so I’m really encouraged by that.

“It shows that when there’s a common goal, we can work together.”

Hobbs released her $17.1 billion budget proposal on Jan. 13, less than two weeks after taking over for Republican Doug Ducey.

House Speaker Ben Toma, a Republican, tweeted at the time that he was confident it would be “dead on arrival,” calling it a “left-wing wish list.”

A month later, the GOP-led House and Senate voted along party lines in favor of a $15.8 billion package that Hobbs swiftly vetoed.

Hobbs reiterated Wednesday that a budget agreement would have to satisfy both sides of the aisle.

“I made it clear that I wasn’t going to entertain a budget that didn’t have bipartisan support and that wasn’t negotiated to tackle some of our toughest issues,” Hobbs said. “I think when the Republicans sent their do-nothing budget, they realized that and so this is where we are today.

“I’m happy for that progress.”

Hobbs said both sides have done well in finding commonalities, a reason a budget agreement could come sooner than in years past.

Last year, the Arizona Legislature approved a bipartisan $18 billion spending plan on June 23.

Ducey signed the budget on June 28.

“I think there’s a give-and-take there and finding those areas of common ground and not taking the disagreements personally is really the most important thing,” Hobbs said.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs says bipartisan budget agreement is ‘very close’