By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
After much posturing on the part of most of the Republicans in the AZ House of Representatives (which is a continuous activity there), the state budget/Medicaid restoration package of bills passed by the Senate three weeks ago is finally moving.
Well, one of the bills, anyway...
An agenda has been posted for a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee for Monday morning at 10 a.m. in HHR1.
The agenda has two bills, and only one of them is related to the budget. Related directly, anyway -
SB1492, the budget bill with the Medicaid restoration language; and part of the price -
A striker to SB1069, with language from the Center for Arizona Theocracy Policy that both attacks abortion clinics and bars Medicaid providers from performing abortions.
In addition, while no amendment language has been posted as of this writing, don't be shocked if there is a move to removed the Medicaid language from SB1492.
Those two measures are also scheduled for Committee of the Whole (COW) consideration on Monday, presuming they both pass the Appropriations Committee (which seems to be a safe presumption at this point).
While no Third Read Calendar is yet posted, look for these measures to be passed by the House on Monday.
Also on Monday, the House Education Committee is meeting (12:30 p.m., HHR3) to consider a same-subject striker to one bill, HB2399, relating to raising bonding limits for school districts. That one is not scheduled for COW consideration at this point.
If you cannot attend the Appropriations meeting in person but have an account for submitting comments online, the login page for that is here.
Another (indirectly?) budget-related action occurred this past week when Senate President Andy Biggs removed Senators John McComish and Adam Driggs from the conference committee that was assigned to work out the "wrinkles" in HB2305, one of the voter-suppression bills that is still moving through the legislature ("wrinkles" = differences between the version passed by the House and the version passed by the Senate). McComish and Driggs were then replaced by Sens. Judy Burges and Kelli Ward, respectively.
How is that "budget-related"?
McComish and Driggs voted for the Senate budget, with the Medicaid restoration language; Burges and Ward voted against it.
And Biggs was and is opposed to Medicaid, period. My guess is that he's still plotting payback for that vote and this was just one small part of it.
- In other McComish news, Mark Spinks, a former candidate for Congress, has opened an exploratory committee for a run at the LD18 Senate seat held by McComish. Normally, one of the first things that a challenger to an entrenched elected has to do is raise his level of public exposure. However, that plan may be contraindicated in Spinks' case.