Arizona Senate President on budget, abortion and education issues this session

It was a momentous session at the Arizona legislature, whose session concluded last month with the passage of the state’s budget. Senate President Warren Petersen, a Gilbert Republican, has been at the helm of his chamber with 16 Republicans and 14 Democrats as they debated issues ranging from water to abortion to the crisis at the southern border.

Petersen has faced unique challenges with Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs and maintaining a narrow majority caucus that is not always necessarily united on every issue. However, the Senate President expressed optimism in a reflective interview with The Center Square at his Capitol office on Tuesday morning.

For starters, he touched on the budget, which did not raise taxes but had cuts across the board to tackle the state's $1.4 million budget shortfall. Petersen, House Speaker Ben Toma, and senior staff for the governor played critical roles in hammering out the appropriations proposals in recent months, and it passed with Republicans and Democrats voting for and against the bills.

Arizona State Capitol building by Gage Skidmore is licensed under flickr Gage Skidmore

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