A plan that would provide $225 million in public financing for a new $395 million Arizona Coyotes arena likely does not have the votes to pass the state Senate, key lawmakers told The Arizona Republic/azcentral Thursday. Sens. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, and John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said they definitely were going to vote against the plan, while Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, said there is little support among the chamber's 13 Democrats. Meanwhile, Senate President Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said he had "serious reservations" about the plan that would allow the National Hockey League team to build an arena in downtown Phoenix or the East Valley. It would take at least 16 votes to pass Senate Bill 1149 in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Republicans have a 17-13 advantage. Statements from those lawmakers make it appear unlikely that there is enough support to move the plan to the House. "We are still working on it. It's not easy," said Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, the bill's sponsor. Worsley, needing bipartisan help, took the unusual approach of appealing directly Thursday to Senate Democrats during their caucus meeting. Hobbs said she allowed Worsley to pitch to Democrats because he's been friendly to their causes. Yet, she said he didn't win over many supporters.
Arizona Coyotes proposed $395 million arena deal on life support
Arizona Republic | Feb 24