UPDATE: Arizona Supreme Court declines to enter budget fight

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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court says Gov. Jan Brewer is right but is declining to order the Legislature to send her approved budget bills immediately.

Day in court

GOP leader: Brewer threat is 'specter' of shutdown - Gov. Jan Brewer is demanding that the state Legislature send approved budget bills to her and has threatened to sue.

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The justices said Tuesday the Legislature failed to send the 10 budget bills within the time mandated by the Arizona Constitution.

But the court noted that the Legislature has committed to send the bills to Brewer no later than June 30. The justices said they won't set an earlier deadline because the matter is a "good-faith dispute" between branches of government that previously hadn't faced the issue.

Brewer has called the budget bills inadequate to cover the state's budget shortfall and has been expected to veto them. Legislative leaders held onto the bills in hopes of forcing a compromise with the governor.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

June 16, 2009

PHOENIX -- UPDATE: Afternoon meeting were described as postive and production.

According to the legislature house, senate and governor's staff continue to meet and progress on the budget.

In response to Governor Brewer's filing the Arizona Supreme Court set a hearing for Tuesday, June 23 for oral arguments.

The senate is expected to file a response by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19.

ORIGINAL: Gov. Jan Brewer is demanding that the state Legislature send approved budget bills to her and she is suing to make it happen.

Brewer is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to order top Republican legislative leaders to immediately send her budget bills that were approved two weeks ago.

Brewer wants Senate President Bob Burns of Peoria to send her the bills approved on June 4 to implement a Republican legislative budget plan that she has criticized. Brewer set a 5 p.m. deadline yesterday to get the bills, but the Senate adjourned without sending them. The Republican governor said she "probably wouldn't sign" those bills.

Because of a possible veto, Burns and House Speaker Kirk Adams said they won't transmit the bills because they want the legislation as the basis for a compromise with Brewer.

While the Legislature is constitutionally required to send the bills to the governor for approval, there is no set timetable.

In her special-action lawsuit, Brewer said that the delay violates constitutional requirements that governors act on legislation.

Brewer says Republican legislators are holding the state hostage.

Over the weekend, Bewer, Senate President Robert Burns and the Speaker of the House Kirk Adams sat down to talk it through, but the Burns ended up walking out.

"I know that when people walk out, it's perfectly clear that it's over. It was finished," Brewer said.

The Democrats have not really been a factor in the budget negotiations other than to post a Web page titled "Bad Plan, Jan." They said that with all the political wrangling going on, the only losers will be the people of Arizona.

While the original issue was a 1-cent temporary tax increase proposed by Brewer, she's not pushing that so hard at this point. Front and center now is more than $300 million in state cuts.

The state faces a shortfall of up to $4 billion in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. State tax collections have been hammered by the housing industry's collapse, rising unemployment and a slump in consumer spending.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.