Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Jan Brewer, a conservative Republican, took office as Arizona's governor a few weeks ago. The first thing she did: propose a tax increase, of course. The context is Arizona's gaping budget shortfall, but legislators nonetheless are wary of the idea, as the Arizona Daily Star reports:
Her proclamation before a joint legislative session Wednesday, though, that the state has no other option than to find a billion dollars in new tax revenue certified Brewer isn't only open to the idea -- she sees no other option. Now, by supporting something rejected by her Democratic predecessor, the Republican governor has opened new fault lines at the Capitol. And she's put herself in a potential political fight in the Legislature this year -- not to mention one on the ballot next year. Republicans are looking for any other option, even old Janet Napolitano ideas they once panned. And Democrats, some of whom have long called for raising taxes, are surprisingly silent. Brewer already seemed fairly likely to face opposition in a primary next year, since she's a governor who wasn't elected to her job in a state with several ambitious Republicans. Now, due to the tax increase proposal, such a challenge appears even more likely and more likely to be successful. But, no one can accuse Brewer of letting political convenience be her guide.
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