Brewer speaks to the legislature today at 4:00 p.m. This is as close to a State of the State address as she can get, having ascended to office after Napolitano’s official State of the State. Obama did the same thing last week when he addressed Congress in a faux-State of the Union address.
What is interesting is that Democrats in Congress were throwing out all kinds of ideas, proposals, etc. in the lead up to Obama’s faux-SOTU speech. No one accused the Democrat leaders of “cutting Obama off at the knees” in doing so.
Now, state legislative leadership has released various proposals on how to deal with the Napolitano-induced budget crisis, and some are crying foul. The objection is that Brewer should be able to lay out her plan prior to legislative leadership laying out their own.
That thinking is actually backwards when you understand the constitutional authority of the branches of government. It is the legislature’s job (required by constitution) to pass bills that fund government and set policy. It’s the Governor’s prerogative to sign or veto any such legislation – which is a part of the process called “legislating.”
Watch for Brewer to lay out the severity of the problem she inherited from Napolitano (and it’s hard to overstate the severity of the problem) and to propose ways to fix it. It will include rollbacks in the Napolitano spending binge of the last few years and it will likely include some form of “temporary” tax increases – likely a small increase in state sales tax. She is likely to propose that the legislature refer such tax increase to the ballot.
That is going to fall on deaf ears by many legislators, some of whom have signed a pledge to not vote in any way to increase taxes. If a tax increase is a part of Brewer’s plan, she’ll have to get some Democrat support, which will be very hard because of the spending reductions that will have to be included.