By East Valley Evan
It’s that weird time of the political season when conflicts arise revealing where politicians’ priorities really are.
Yesterday, leaders of the Arizona House and Senate reached a deal on how to divvy up sections of Governor Ducey’s budget proposal. That deal will be revealed today.
Setting aside the details of the deal, it’s worth pointing out where leaders of both chambers are spending their time as this process unfolds.
Every legislator acknowledges that the most important part of their job is to pass a budget that establishes the financial priorities for the State of Arizona. It’s what voters elect candidates to do and it’s the epitome of responsibility for legislators once elected.
When it comes down to governing or campaigning, governing should always take priority.
Citizens would think and expect leadership in the House and Senate to treat this constitutional obligation with the utmost attention. Apparently that obligation can take a back seat if you’re a candidate for another office while holding down your leadership position in the legislature.
House Speaker David Gowan got it right (although he is avoiding interaction with members of the media these days) when he skipped a CD-1 candidate forum in Casa Grande Monday night. He stuck around the legislature to make sure the House wrapped up the budget deal.
It wasn’t the same on the Senate side. Senate President Andy Biggs was nowhere to be found in the State of Arizona. Instead, he is making the rounds in Washington, DC trying to raise money for his next government gig. According to the Arizona Republic:
Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler — who was acting as Senate president while Andy Biggs was in Washington, D.C., Monday fundraising for a congressional campaign…
Senate President Biggs who has become the professional career politician obviously feels the need to fly back to Washington, rub elbows with lobbyists and return home with a bundle of campaign cash.
Meanwhile, his colleagues in the House and Senate will work through the details on how best to spend Arizona taxpayer dollars.
It’s all about priorities.
~ He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much (Luke 16:10)