Friday, February 19, 2010

State lawmakers review alternative budget plan

Buried on 7A (and not on we find this story of a supposedly mystified House leadership playing catch-up with a budget plan that's been making the rounds for a couple of weeks. It seems Rep John Kavanagh has no idea who it's coming from.

The Courier could have scooped AP on this one if the editors listened to The People's Business over the last couple of weeks. This is the bipartisan plan that Rep Lucy Mason announced on the show. She's one of the plan's prime movers, advocating for compromise up the middle of the political divide that's brought the Arizona legislature to a standstill.

By the way, Kavanagh is not being entirely truthful about not knowing where it's coming from. Rep Mason and Rep Bill Konopnicki were keeping the plan inside so that leadership would have a chance to sign on before they went public with it.

We'll have more on this week's show, 2pm Saturday and Sunday on KJZA (89.5 FM) and KJZP (90.1 FM).

Update, Sunday morning:
Rep. Kavanagh responds in the comments. Here's a link to the story as carried on, including a big chunk the Courier left out.


John Kavanagh said...

The writer of the post that said I had no idea where the "orphan budget" came from misrepresented what I said. In the hearing I conceded that Rep Koponicki admitted authoring one part of the report but did not feel comfortable accepting my invitation to testify about the whole report in committee. In addition, nobody showed up to talk about "their" plan at the hearing.

The report has no name or identifying information on it, which speaks for itself. Nobody came to the joint Appropriations Committee hearing on it to claim authorship or even speak on its behalf. It is hard to take such a budget seriously.

Steven Ayres said...

Rep Kavanagh:

I'm flattered that you think my little blog important enough to comment on. First, it appears to me that your beef is not with me, but rather with Paul Davenport of the AP:

"That left Kavanagh and several other senior Republicans complaining they don't know the alternative proposal's true origins and couldn't ask questions to its drafter or drafters about its revenue assumptions and specific provisions."

Readers of this blog know that I'm no fan of journalistic sloppiness, so if AP misrepresented you, thanks for sharing.

What I'm really curious about, though, is why you called an Appropriations Committee hearing on a paper that is not a budget, not a bill, and has no bills related to it. I've read the thing, it's not secret and I'm sure not hard to get hold of, as Mr Konopnicki and Ms Mason are working to promote the ideas it outlines. It's really an approach more than a plan, and a think piece more than a proposal. It's certainly not in appropriate form for a committee hearing. This observer is left with the impression that you're moving to politically triangulate these ideas, frame them and rally opposition to them before most of the House, including apparently yourself, has had a chance to even hear them. Can you clarify this for me and my readers?