/ Modified dec 13, 2013 7:08 p.m.

AZ Illustrated Politics: Friday, December 13, 2013

AZ Legislature gets back to work this week, what can we expect?; gas tax hike to pay for road construction.


Play the video above to see these stories on AZ Illustrated Politics for Friday, Dec. 13 with guests state Rep. Bruce Wheeler of central Tucson, former state lawmaker Jonathan Paton, and Jeff Rogers, former chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party:

FEDERAL BUDGET DEAL: This week, a new federal deal was negotiated by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpartrick and Ron Barber voted in favor of the deal, while Rep. Raul Grijalva opposed it. Rogers said that Republicans likely supported the deal to avoid more battles over a government shutdown, while Paton said resolving the budget issues allows Republicans to focus on the issue of the Affordable Care Act in the 2014 midterms.

UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION: Wheeler said the top three items that are likely to on the agenda at the Legislature are building more funding for education, improving the state’s transportation system and investigating Gov. Jan Brewer’s management of various state agencies. Paton said he expected lawmakers to try to wrap the session as quickly as possible to they could get on the campaign trail in 2014.

GUN VIOLENCE LEGISLATION: This week marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Although the year began with a push to expand background checks on gun purchases, the legislation fizzled in the Senate. Paton said that the push for background checks fell apart because of the complexity of regulating all gun sales between private parties, while Rogers said that it was political cowardice on the part of lawmaker. Wheeler predicted there was “zero chance” that the Legislature would pass bills that restrict gun ownership.

AZ Illustrated Politics is produced by Jim Nintzel. Contact him at jnintzel@azpm.org.

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