Legislative Update: Democrats

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It is the weekly legislative update. This week Assistant Senate Minority Leader, Senator Juan Mendez and House Minority Leader, Representative Andrés Cano join Ted to discuss the latest news from the Capitol including budget updates.

“We have an opportunity right now to be able to work across the aisle and to demonstrate that we’re serious about passing a budget that’ll meet the needs of all Arizonans,” said Cano. “We are in conversations, as of this week, what we are not in favor of is rushing this process.”

This is in contrast with some Republics who say the budget could be passed in as early as two weeks. Mendez says this time could prevent all Democratic negotiations from being represented in the budget.

“We want to make sure there’s negotiations that respect everybody’s position and everybody’s input into this process,” said Mendez. “We’re at the process right of finding out our members’ interest, and finding out how we can put that into actual policy.”

Medicaid is a hot topic for the legislator right now. Debates revolver around whether Medicaid should be incorporated into the budget or be stand-alone legislation. Cano says he prefers that stand-alone legislation.

According to Cano, the house and senate Republicans have waited “until the eleventh hour” to address Medicaid access renewal that would guarantee health insure for low-income Arizonans. Because of this timeline, there is pressure on Democrats.

“For us to be fed this false narrative that we have to pass the budget by next week, or 3 billion dollars is on the line, the legislator is currently controlled by the Republican caucus, and so, we are not going to be bullied into rushing this process,” said Cano. “We firmly believe, on the Democratic side, that Arizonans of all parties, of all walks of life, should have a budget that is going to be moving in a way that is sane, that is rational, and that is not moving anything at, you know, lightning speed.”

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