FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Senate Democrats Kick Off 2024 by
Refusing to Come to the Table for Budget Negotiations
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senate President Warren Petersen is shining a light on the partisan games Senate Democrats are playing with the onset of the 2024 state budget negotiations.
The Legislature has the statutory obligation of passing a balanced state budget each year, with negotiations routinely commencing before the start of the legislative session. This year, lawmakers are tasked with trimming unnecessary spending to close a one-time funding gap.
In an effort to obtain the feedback of all 30 Senators to resolve this shortfall, Senate Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh wrote two emails to Senate Democrats, dated December 21, 2023 and January 4, 2024, requesting input on which areas of government the Minority Caucus would prefer to reduce expenditures on, and which areas to prioritize continued funding for.
As of today, no response or acknowledgement of the emails by Senate Minority Leader Mitzi Epstein have been received by Chairman Kavanagh. Additionally, President Petersen was informed the Minority Leader is directing her Caucus not to engage with the Senate Appropriations Chairman on the budget.
"It's unfortunate we're kicking off this legislative session with Senate Democrats playing games at the expense of our taxpayers. It's time to be adults," said President Petersen. "We want all lawmakers to be at the table during budget negotiations, as the citizens of Arizona expect of their elected leaders, but we've heard nothing but crickets from the Minority Leader on her statutory obligation. We may have no other choice but to move forward without their input."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus