The measure, which was approved by the Senate last week, passed the
House 31-27. Its passage was not guaranteed, and for much of the debate
during the vote, it was unclear if it would find enough support.
Even House Republican leaders said they weren’t certain if S1003 would pass.
“We just put it up there. We weren’t sure,” said House Majority Whip
Andy Tobin, who is responsible for corralling votes for the Republican
In all, 19 of the 34 Republicans opposed the bill. Rep. Bill
Konopnicki, a Safford Republican, called it “absurd” that lawmakers
were looking to borrow $750 million - and pay back the loans for 20
years - to fund programs only for this year.
“I know we’re out of options, but this is absolutely, totally irresponsible,” he said.
The bill would borrow $450 million against future Lottery revenues
and $300 million by selling state properties, then leasing them back.
This comes on top of $735 million in sale-leasebacks already made in
the current budget.
The House still has one special session bill to consider. That one,
which Tobin said may be voted on tomorrow, would delay $450 million in
payments to school districts and state universities.