Along partisan lines, the Arizona Senate passed a "baseline" budget yesterday and the House is expected to follow today. After House approval, the budget package is expected to be swiftly vetoed by the Governor. The legislative leadership plan is to approve a budget that would continue ongoing spending with some required statutory formula adjustments and a minimal number of other changes for the upcoming year. After enactment, consideration on how to use the remaining available revenues for the upcoming year would be deliberated. The Governor and Democrat legislators strongly prefer the more traditional approach which does not separate ongoing and new measures into two separate budget measures. Arizona has not experienced split partisan control of the Capitol in 14 years and this week's budget battle reinforces the wide belief that the budget battle will be contentious to the end and reaching an end will be a very lengthy process. A state budget or some other measure authorizing a continuation of state government spending will need to be enacted by July 1st to keep much of the state government operating after that date.
Transportation continues to receive a lot of attention as indicated by the number of introduced bills on a variety of related topics such as appropriations for specific projects and electric vehicle incentives and related infrastructure investment. Several bills have also been introduced regarding the ability of Maricopa County to take to its voters an extension of their half-cent transportation sales tax set to expire after 2025. There is tremendous interest and the topic remains a standing weekly item on the meeting agenda for the Senate Transportation & Technology Committee. However, there remains a wide gulf among lawmakers as far as the requirements and conditions that would accompany that authorization.
A current transportation bill matrix providing a summary & status of all the transportation-related bills that have been introduced to date is attached.