Home>Feature>Minority Leader Epstein Responds to Budget Story
State Senator Mitzi Epstein speaking on the floor of the Arizona State Senate at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona.
State Senator Mitzi Epstein speaking on the floor of the Arizona State Senate at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Minority Leader Epstein Responds to Budget Story

Claims that Democrats are participating on budget, disagree on ‘intent’

By Steve Kirwan, January 16, 2024 5:00 am

In our story “AZ Senate Democrats Refuse Kavanagh’s Request for Budget Input,” dated January 12, 2024, Arizona Globe reported that Senate Republicans had expressed frustration that Minority Leader Epstein ordered a Democrat boycott of any budget participation. According to our reporting, both Senator John Kavanagh and Senate President Warren Petersen made unsuccessful attempts to gather input for potential budget cuts and programs to avoid cutting.

We contacted Sen. Epstein on Friday and received a response from Calli Jones, Director of Communications for the Democratic Caucus, today. In her email, she stated, “Their (the Republicans’) statement failed to clarify that Senator Epstein has already met directly with President Petersen on budget talks. Senate Democrats are interested in building a budget well, Senate Republicans seem more interested in building a budget quickly.”

It’s unclear precisely what this response means for ongoing budget issues, but if Democrats have indeed provided input, it’s a logical assumption that the process will move forward. We’re contacting Sen. Kavanagh and Petersen to see if they can elaborate on Sen. Epstein’s response.

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