In an unexpected move on Tuesday, Governor Jan Brewer called a Special Session for Tuesday evening, starting at 5:00 PM, to address the issues of the State Budget for 2013-14 and Medicaid expansion.
According to AZCentral's article, "Gov. Jan Brewer Calls Lawmakers Into Surprise Special Session,"
"The governor's surprise move comes after House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, adjourned until Thursday, stalling efforts by a bipartisan House coalition to pass Brewer's 2014 budget and Medicaid expansion.
"Many legislators were on their way home when Brewer called key lawmakers to a meeting in her offices, where the special session plans were organized. They agreed to unseat the speaker and Senate president, if necessary, to get Medicaid expansion and the budget passed."
Shortly after 9 PM, a Joint Statement was issued by Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker Andy Tobin regarding the Governor's call for a Special Session:
"This evening, Governor Brewer summoned legislators to convene a special session to address the FY14 budget and Medicaid expansion. The special session was called without any consultation with Senate or House leadership, and was designed to commence at the precise moment it was conveyed. We are disappointed and stunned that the Governor and her staff would resort to such an unnecessary, impulsive and unprecedented tactic."
"Since the beginning of the session, Senate and House leadership have made the budgetary process a top priority. Additionally, the debate regarding the full implementation of Obamacare in Arizona was already fully under way. In fact, these two specific items have not only consistently been a top legislative focus, but the other essential bills of the legislature have also been moving through our respective chambers. Instead of allowing the process to proceed in an orderly manner, the Governor made the impetuous decision to intercede and collude with the democrat minority in order to force an expedited vote on her sole legislative priority of Obamacare."
"We are frustrated and bewildered by her overt hostility and disregard for the budgetary process which was already well under way. The blatant disrespect and reckless practices exhibited by this Executive are less than what was expected of her and more than should be tolerated."
What's to happen next is unclear. Some Republicans have joined Democrats in supporting the Governor's proposal for Medicaid expansion, and so it does appear there will be a vote on the issues the Governor is most concerned about. However, Tobin and Biggs, for the time being at least, have survived the threatened coup d'état.