Waiting in the wings for Friday’s expected last day of the session was one of the most contentious bills of the year, a massive expansion of the state’s private school voucher system that passed the House on Wednesday. It moved through a Senate committee Thursday night.
Also on tap is a massive new water bill Gov. Doug Ducey called for early this year that is designed to help the state pay for new water sources.
The push to move most of the final bills of the year led to a series of battles Thursday evening, including an effort by majority Republicans to ban cities and towns from charging a tax on rented homes and apartments that fell one vote short in the Senate, and another on a big tax credit for film production that passed the House after an acrimonious debate that got personal.
Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Travis Grantham called the film credit bill “grossly unconstitutional” and said he was falsely accused by bill sponsor Sen. David Gowan of reneging on a deal.
“It’s my understanding that the Senate currently won’t even do business unless this bill gets put forward because of the sponsor and his ability to hold our entire chamber, and his, hostage,” Grantham said.
Gowan’s bill provides tax credits that starts at $ 75 million in 2023, go to $ 100 million the following year and top out at $ 125 million in 2025 and subsequent years. One film can only receive $ 25 million.