ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona budget negotiations gain urgency as Legislature looks to wrap up session

Apr 4, 2024, 9:59 AM

Arizona budget negotiations have been ongoing at the state Capitol....

Arizona budget negotiations have been ongoing at the state Capitol. (KTAR News File Photo)

(KTAR News File Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona lawmakers are turning their focus to behind-the-scenes work, including budget negotiations, as the legislative session winds down.

With the state facing a projected $400 million budget deficit, the GOP-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ office started budget negotiations last week, the Arizona Senate Republican caucus announced Wednesday.

The sides plan to meet regularly until a deal is reached. June 30 is the deadline to pass a budget, but Senate President Warren Petersen is hoping it doesn’t take nearly that long.

“With the governor’s cooperation, we’re hopeful we can wrap up the session within the next month,” Petersen said in a press release.

What is Arizona Legislature working on besides budget negotiations?

Meanwhile, lawmakers will only be called to session once a week as remaining bills become available for a vote.

“Out of respect for everyone’s time, other off-campus work and family obligations, we are allowing lawmakers to tend to those commitments,” Petersen said.

Legislators can also use their time away from the Arizona Capitol to campaign ahead of the July 30 primary election.

The Senate is still working on about 40 pieces of legislation, including bills covering water management, teacher raises and border security, according to Republican leadership.

“With necessary negotiations on bills, state agency continuations, and a state budget, there is quite a bit of behind-the-scenes business that will need to be conducted at the Legislature between leadership and the appropriations teams before lawmakers can vote any remaining reforms or proposals,” Petersen said.

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Arizona budget negotiations gain urgency as Legislature looks to wrap up session