Key Republicans say budget negotiations are at an impassePosted: Updated:
A group of Republicans say negotiations with their own party leaders over Arizona's proposed $9.2 million budget are off.
"The state of Arizona needs to be growing as an economy, and we need to be business friendly, and we need to be educating our children and protecting our children," said Rep. Jeff Dial, R-District 18. "Until they come back with proposals that meet those three things, there's going to be an impasse."
The Arizona House of Representatives has stalled voting on a Senate-approved budget proposal for three days after party leaders and others in the Republican-controlled House failed to agree on a number of provisions.
Six of those Republicans told reporters on Wednesday that negotiations are at an impasse over education and Child Protection Services funding.
"I firmly believe that Republicans care about children; they care about education," said Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-District 28. "And we need to have a budget that reflects those priorities."
Democrats also oppose the current budget proposal.
A handful of Republicans in the House sidetracked a vote Monday after it became clear they could block passage. They met late into the night with Speaker Andy Tobin, who was visibly frustrated they declined to sign off on the plan. Those meetings were continuing Tuesday. Just before 3 p.m., the House called a recess until 4 p.m.
The members who blocked the vote were most concerned about two issues: funding for a new child welfare agency and a provision retroactively stopping school districts from converting schools to charters.
The debate comes after the House Appropriations Committee sent the spending plan to the full House Monday afternoon. Members of the House met until 9 p.m. Monday without reaching an agreement.
"The House leadership is trying to get the 31 votes they need to pass the budget. And as of right now, there hasn't been any word on what's going on, that they don't have the 31 votes," said Jaime Molera, a political consultant.
"This is the process. The process is everybody gets to bring their ideas to the table, and let's debate them, and let's see what happens in the final package," said Tobin.
The rapid-fire action comes after the Senate passed the budget late last week, just four days after the nine-bill package was introduced. Senate President Andy Biggs said he's confident it will win support from Gov. Jan Brewer.
But Brewer's chief of staff said she still has issues preventing her from fully embracing the budget plan.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. John Kavanagh says he's encouraged by the Senate passage and governor's support for most of the package.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.