Napolitano flips, agrees to meet with Republicans - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Napolitano flips, agrees to meet with Republicans

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Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2007 1:51 pm | Updated: 7:44 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PHOENIX - Maybe Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano and majority Republicans in the Arizona Legislature won't be getting off to a bad start in their monthslong path toward agreement on a new state budget after all.

Back and forth letters between Republican legislative leaders and Napolitano have now resulted in Napolitano agreeing to discuss budget priorities with rank-and-file House and Senate Republicans.

The House and Senate majority whips on Monday invited Napolitano to address a joint meeting of their caucuses as she'd done already in meetings with House and Senate Democrats.

Napolitano on Tuesday initially brushed off the invitation, saying she'd already provided the Republicans with plenty of budget information through her State of the State address and budget proposal.

The whips, Sen. John Huppenthal of Chandler and Rep. John McComish of Phoenix, on Wednesday renewed their invitation, saying they were sincerely interested in a dialogue and want to hear Napolitano's perspectives.

On Thursday, Napolitano reconsidered, accepted the invitation and asked the Republicans to consult her staff to work out a mutually agreeable date for the briefing.

Napolitano didn't resist including a jab regarding the Republicans' request for "equal time." She said Democrats now compromise 45 percent of the Legislature but that the percentage of Democratic bills actually being heard falls below that level.

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