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2/23/2012 10:02:00 AM
Brewer stops budget talks with Legislature
Gov. Jan Brewer
Gov. Jan Brewer
Funding sought by Brewer not included in Republican budget plan
- Replace state's accounting system and upgrade data center -- $105 million

- Books, computers, supplies for public schools -- $100 million

- Emergency repairs for public schools -- $100 million

- 500-bed maximum security prison -- $50 million

- Replace lost federal funds for Child Protective Services and the elderly -- $25 million

- University performance funding -- $15 million

- Community college scholarships -- $10 million

- Hire more correctional officers -- $9.3 million

- Prevent elimination of 73 Department of Public Safety positions -- $9.2 million

- Fund state Tourism Office -- $7 million

-- Source: Governor's Office

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer is going to give state lawmakers the silent treatment until she gets her way -- or at least some of it -- in the budget.

Press aide Matthew Benson said Wednesday that Brewer told her budget staff not to sit down again with legislative counterparts "until the Legislature amends its proposal and makes some good-faith efforts to reflect some of the priorities and concerns that the governor's made clear.'

But legislative leaders showed no sign of backing down, at least not yet. And at this point they remain on track for pursuing the plan approved Tuesday by the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

A vote could come as early as this coming week.

Benson said there had been talks over a legislative "framework' for a spending plan for the coming year. But it was only on Monday when the Republican leadership decided to push ahead and demand the first vote on that plan less than 24 hours later.

Missing, he said, was a laundry list of Brewer's priorities, ranging from $100 million for books and supplies for public schools and $50 million for a new maximum security prison to $700,000 for additional investigators to look into complaints of teacher misconduct.

"The governor doesn't believe at this point it would be productive for her budget team to sit down with legislative budget staffers until some of these significant differences are addressed,' Benson said.

He acknowledged that one way of resolving differences is through negotiations. But Benson said this is a two-way street.

"Your proposal needs to be at least a good-faith proposal or else we're just wasting everybody's time,' he said.

Anyway, Benson pointed out that some question remains whether there actually are the votes for the plan. During Tuesday's hearings, several Republican legislators said they like one or more elements of Brewer's plan more than what their own leaders want.

Benson said it could take awhile before talks restart. But he said Brewer is patient.

"We have time,' he said, as the new fiscal year does not begin until July 1.

"The governor's not going anywhere,' Benson continued. "We'll be here.'

That last point is only partly true: Brewer left for the National Governor's Association today and is not due back until Monday.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Don't be so surprised about the funding for schools

Brewer attached school funding to prison funding so that the private prison funding had a chance so the pockets of her friends that own the private prisons would be funded.

I thought the pic of her was great!! Blowing out a lot of hot air without thinking is what she does best.

Brewer is a disgrace and embarrassment to our state and country.

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Fortunately for us it's not the Governor's job to balance the budget. It's her job to either sign or veto the budget as it is delivered to her desk. As usual, she's confused about boundaries... but using every opportunity to keep her face in the papers.

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: A New Arizona Coming Your Way.

This governor seems off balanced. When a governor from Arizona ask for advice from a 1/2 term failed governor from the state of Alaska to help write a book instead of working on issues facing the state, there is a problem. Gov. Brewer must balance the budget, lower the taxes and quietly leave this position intact.

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Buy the books from Amazon.While helping
our own,I'm sure money can be saved there.
Farming out our prisons for cash isn't new
the security is lax .
Sort of a $50,000 toilet.

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Take the $50 million for the prison and create construction jobs for non violent criminals and have them do the emergency school repairs. With the money we save, we can increase funds for Child Protective Services and the elderly.

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Carl Nye - Jerome

Like her or not like her, can't you at least get a decent photo of the Governor? There must be some official photo available that is more appealing.

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Schools are so important.

I was pleasantly surprised to see funding for anything to do with schools, and since Brewer's public speaking ability borders on someone who rarely attended school, I'm equally glad Benson is doing her talking for her.

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: while it is commendable that

that the gov. has some reasonable items in the list... at least one item jumps out... the 50 million for a prison... one has to ask which private prison company will get that funding?

it is well known that the gov. has ties to private prisons...

so i would hope this is investigated...

aside from that it seems she is trying to make nice with a more moderate electorate in an election year... and perhaps regretting the wave of ultra conservatives that wee washed in in 2010...

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