State Budget Faces a Possible Veto by Gov. Brewer

Apr 2, 2014

A spending plan approved Tuesday by the state Senate could be headed for a gubernatorial veto. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Gov. Jan Brewer may veto the state budget in its current form passed by the state Senate.
Credit Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer

The Senate plan includes less money for district-run charter schools and fewer dollars for the state’s three universities than what the House approved. Supporters of the University of Arizona complained the UA saved the state $5.5 million by refinancing its debt. But, instead of letting the school keep the savings, the Senate gives the UA just $1.25 million, an identical amount for Arizona State University and half a million to Northern Arizona University. The rest goes in to the state treasury. Sen. Steve Farley said that’s not fair.

“If they figure out ways of saving money like in a bond refinance, and it gets taken away by us, it doesn’t work anymore. Why would they work so hard to save so much money if they’re not going to be able to put it to good use and it’s just going to get into our great slush fund up here,” Farley said.

Andrew Wilder, spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, said his boss also wants more money than is in the Senate package. And, he said Brewer does not like language in the Senate plan to defer consideration of additional funds for child abuse caseworkers and investigators until after creation of a new Department of Child Welfare and Family Services.

“Left unaddressed, it raises doubt whether or not it will ultimately be signed by the governor,” Wilder said.

Wilder said his boss is running out of patience, saying she will not sign any other measure until she gets an acceptable budget.