Updated Apr 22, 2014 - 5:07 pm
Arizona Senate turns thumbs down on Super Bowl security bill
PHOENIX -- After months of bipartisan support in both Arizona legislative chambers, a bill that would have helped the city of Glendale cover public safety costs during next year's Super Bowl failed Tuesday in the Senate.
The Senate voted 16-10 against House Bill 2547.
``It just seems to me that this is an awful display of fiscal mismanagement,'' said Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert.
Biggs criticized the city for spending millions on keeping the Phoenix Coyotes at their current stadium in Glendale but not having enough money to cover public safety costs.
Glendale officials say previous threats to safety at other venues such as the Boston Marathon bombings have increased security costs. They estimate the city will spend $3.2 million on public safety for the game. It spent $2.3 million for that purpose for the 2008 Super Bowl.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers says the city cannot afford to cover those costs on its own, and it might not be able to host in the future without assistance. He said he was extremely disappointed that the bill failed.
``Until we find that (pot) of gold at the end of the rainbow, or one of those machines from the federal government where we start making our own money, we don't have the funds,'' Weiers said.
The bill by Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, initially would have reimbursed the city up to $4 million. But amendments watered down the measure, and the latest version would reimburse the city of Glendale for only half the costs it incurred.
The bill was passed by the House with a 33-25 vote on March 45 and received unanimous support in two Senate committees.
But by the time the measure made its way to the Senate floor, things had changed.
``My constituents in Tucson will not see the benefits from this bill. They will only see the detriment,'' said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson. ``Chances are (visitors) are not going to spend their money in Southern Arizona.''