State Budget Update: Special Session Underway; A Top-Secret Alternative Budget On The Horizon?

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The Arizona Senate is working on the Special Session budget proposal that Gov. Jan Brewer laid out yesterday. From what we hear, there's general bipartisan agreement on the proposal in the Senate, which is necessary because so many Republicans don't want to be on record as supporting a tax increase.

But we also hear there could be trouble brewing in the House of Representatives.

The sticking point in the House: Democrats don't want to increase the sales tax temporarily if Republicans are going to turn around and cut income and business taxes permanently, while Republicans don't want to increase the sales tax temporarily if the state does not cut income and business taxes permanently.

Meanwhile, we also hear that an alternative budget proposal is being secretly hammered out by rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats who are sidestepping leadership and trying to find a way of realistically dealing with the budget crisis rather than falling back on tired slogans and campaign rhetoric.

We have our doubts that any such proposals can survive the current political environment. But we'll bring you updates as we can.

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