Budget on Brewer's desk not an easy swallow

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PHOENIX -- Nearly two months after vetoing most of a new state budget because it omitted her proposal for a temporary sales tax increase, Gov. Jan Brewer is faced with having to consider letting a nearly identical spending plan take effect.

That would require the Republican governor to swallow her criticism of the earlier budget proposal and suffer an image blow that could affect her ability to work with the GOP-led Legislature and even win a full term as governor.

Arizona State University political science department chair Patrick Kenney said if Brewer does sign the pending budget without the sales tax proposal she would look like "a weak executive."

Brewer could avoid having to agree to the near-repeat of that budget if ongoing bipartisan negotiations produces a compromise. However, her sales-tax proposal has been stalled after months of debate on it and other contentious issues in the state's fiscal crisis.

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