Arizona Privatization/Efficiency Board Bill Falls Victim to Toxic Budget Politics

Having passed the full Senate and the House Appropriations Committee in recent weeks, Arizona’s SB 1466 (see here and here for details) came two votes shy of passage in the full House yesterday (29-30-1) amid the chaotic scramble to pass a budget to avoid a government shutdown.

It would be less frustrating if the vote was based on the policy merits, but by all accounts policy and logic had nothing to do with it. Rather, despite the support of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity and a number of other influential groups, several House members decided to tank SB 1466 purely as a personal shot against the bill sponsor in retaliation for her positions on unrelated pieces of the budget package.

It’s certainly not the first time good policy fell victim to stupid politics, and it won’t be the last. But to let personal politics trump sound fiscal policy in a state facing among the worst budget problems in the country is downright immature and serves taxpayers appallingly poorly.

Way to utterly squander an opportunity, guys. Get ready to see this bill again, as the budget problems aren’t going away anytime soon in Arizona.