Governor Brewer signed a balanced budget into law on Saturday after she and lawmakers hammered out a deal. As expected, Republicans supported and Democrats opposed the budget.
There was the typical prediction of the sky falling by Democrats, including this gem from Meg Burton Cahill:
“The state of Arizona will come to rue this day,” said Sen. Meg Burton Cahill, D-Tempe. “The bill that will come at the end of the decade or so from the decision we’re making today is going to be very expensive for the citizens of Arizona.”
What is it about a $1.6 BILLION hole that Cahill doesn’t understand? And what about the $3 billion hole that legislators will now start to grapple with for next year’s budget? In typical fashion, most Democrats complained about the cuts, but offered little of their own ideas about how to deal with the problem.
There are two ways to manage being the minority party: 1) whine and complain about every single thing the majority does; or 2) offer actual alternatives to the majority plan and try to find ways to get votes on those plans.
So far, Democrats in the Arizona Legislature are following the first path, and Republicans in Congress are following the latter (as evidenced by bipartisan support for the Republican alternative to the latest stimulus package). We’ll see which strategy works in 2010. My guess is that Republicans in Congress will see a lot of gains, and Democrats in the Arizona Legislature will not – in fact, they will likely lose more seats.