Preschool on the 9th Floor

So yesterday Gov. Brewer threatened to veto all non-budget bills that aren’t already on her desk – no matter what.  “The governor has indicated to leadership that, outside of the bills that are on her desk now, she won’t sign any more bills until there’s a budget,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said.

Anyone who pays attention to the AZ Capitol scene knows well her propensity to act like a four-year-old when she doesn’t get her way.  However, her newest negotiation tactic seems particularly reckless.

A few conservative members have suggested responding to her threat by immediately sending up HB2721, the CPS reform bill.  This approach is especially tempting since the bill is the bi-partisan consensus result of her own highly-publicized CPS Task Force from last fall.  She’d either cave and sign it, which would look weak, or veto it, which would look as childish…well, as her threat was.

The conservatives are trying to budget for the long term by keeping the state from having another budget meltdown in a couple of years.  Brewer wants to spend MORE than the Democrats.  Since she’ll be on her way out by then, she doesn’t really care much whether she leaves a funding cliff for the next administration.  For some reason, she wants applause from the K-12 and welfare spending lobbies.  She still hasn’t learned that no amount will ever be enough for the spenders.

If this is how she negotiates with her “friends”, it’s a wonder she ever accomplished anything as a legislator.


  1. Sgt. Flapjaw says

    Well said, this Governor plays games with the conservatives way too much. They work hard and come up with a bipartisan solution, and Janet Brelitano rears her ugly head. We finally can see an end to the stupidity that got us into our fiscal mess and she wants to jump back in. I say call her hand, and lets see what she does.

  2. Hardcore Republican Legislator says

    In all fairness, the Legislature has been holding up her bill for months about changing the rules for firing bad employees. That been used as leverage against her and has intentionally been slowed down.

  3. With all due respect Rep. Harper, these two situations are not analogous. First of all, several senators have significant, good-faith concerns about the personnel bill. You of all people should understand their desire to continue negotiations to try to find language they can support. Also, Brewer has proven over time that she will try to leverage conservatives for more spending than they believe is prudent. It’s a legitimate strategy to leverage her priority bill to check her spending impulses. A targeted approach such as this is completely different than Brewer’s scorched-earth approach. Frankly, I’m surprised you would defend her behavior.

  4. conservative02 says

    I agree with Governor Brewer on this one. Time for the state legislature to stop playing games and man-up with a responsible budget.

  5. With respect to all views here, perhaps the author should reassess “acts like a 4 year old.” The CPS reform bill HB 2721 should be a non partisan high priority. Arizonans will support it, Bill Montgomery consulted with Governer Brewer & made recommendations the state should implement, and our citizens’ patience for hearing about foster care review displays and reports of abused babies has reached the RED level. Gun bills should not have taken priority & the fact they did shows this Legislature’s inability to properly prioritize. Get out of the “caucus cocoon” of partisan conservative thought and just do the right thing on this one.

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