So budget bills got through the Arizona Senate Thursday, which were surprisingly decent, and the Medicaid expansion won a decisive majority vote. Political strategist and former legislator John Loredo said it best on his Facebook page:
Tonight Senate Democrats along with a handful of courageous Republicans passed a reasonable, responsible budget. Dems learned that when you have serious leverage, you can hold out for some pretty amazing victories – if you don’t throw in the towel too early. Dems held their votes on Medicaid until they Rs agreed to remove permanent cuts to public education, stop the voter suppression BRB, removed a sweetheart deal for Arpaio and passed several other amendments. If you want to win big you have be willing to risk it all. Tonight we all won big.
I guess we have to shower those Republicans who did the right thing with praise in the hope it will serve as positive reinforcement for future good decisions. So yes, I’m very appreciative of their votes. I have contacted my Senator, Adam Driggs, to thank him for his yes vote on the expansion. But what I’m really grateful for is the fact that Democrats took away the GOP supermajority in both chambers, which is making a less austere budget and the restoration of Medicaid to the working poor even possible. Anyone think this could have happened last year when there were only 9 Dem Senators? Anyone?
While we’re at it, imagine how much sooner the Medicaid expansion would have been a done deal had Democrats won majorities in both chambers.
Bio: I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, and an adventurous streak led me to join the Navy. I moved to Arizona in 1997 after serving 10 years in the Navy to work in semi-conductor manufacturing. I got involved in national and Arizona politics in 2003. I ran for 2006 State Senate in Ahwatukee and was a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I now live in North Central Phoenix with my boyfriend, Mark, and our three dogs. I've been blogging for Democratic Diva since 2007 about local and national politics with a strong emphasis on women's issues.
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