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AZ Senate committee passes bill on budget contingency plan

A state senator has introduced a bill that would provide a contingency plan if Arizona lawmakers fail to pass a budget by the June 30 deadline.

It would allow the Legislature to use the previous year’s budget until a new one is approved. 

Republican Sen. J.D. Mesnard’s bill passed the chamber’s Appropriations Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

"Every year we approach July 1, and perhaps there may be a year where we are not reaching agreement on the budget. The closer we get to that, everybody starts to panic," Mesnard said. 

Democratic Sen. Juan Mendez voted against the bill, saying it removes the sole incentive to pass any budget at all. If the bill passes the Legislature, it will need to be approved by voters.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.