AZ Legislative GOP Splits as Leadership Jams Through Medicaid Expansion

Professional pols of all stripes love bigger government


Lawmakers are prepared to sine die Thursday afternoon and leave what's become an increasingly toxic atmosphere at the Capitol as bipartisan coalitions in each chamber have seized control and began systematically approving Gov. Jan Brewer's budget proposal in special session.

Senate President Andy Biggs said he's hesitant to raise expectations, but hopes to adjourn both the budget and Medicaid expansion special session and the 51st Legislative regular session shortly after noon Thursday.

Other lawmakers and political observers agreed that few would want to continue working on bills in an environment where the Majority Party has been torn apart by the divisive Medicaid issue. It split the Republican Party and left some GOP lawmakers to watch helplessly as a budget that includes what they've labeled Obamacare was approved in the Senate Committee of the Whole.