Weekly Legislative Reports
To track AzTA’s involvement in the most recent legislative session, view our reports below.
Hundreds of bills moved through House and Senate floor sessions this week as lawmakers worked to advance their policy priorities into the second half of the legislative process. While some proposals drew sharp debate, many passed without much discussion. House members gave bipartisan support to bills that designate Pluto as the state planet, alter local government rules on home designs, expand the Arizona Office of Tourism’s ability to work with local governments, and require county supervisors to fill a legislative vacancy within two weeks.
Today is the final day for most bills to make it through their first committee assignments in the House and Senate, and lawmakers worked long hours this week as they considered more than 400 proposals in committee hearings. In the House, policy committees found bipartisan agreement on proposals to outline actions the Department of Child Services must do if a child is missing, classify some animal abuse as domestic violence, and prohibit schools from suspending students for missing class.
With the clock ticking toward this week’s deadline to address concerns about Arizona’s election schedule, negotiating teams spent hours behind closed doors at the Capitol to find an agreement that would get bipartisan support from the House and Senate. Thursday afternoon, they succeeded: Both the House and Senate provided the supermajority vote required to immediately enact the changes when the Governor signs the bill today, giving election officials additional time to count votes in this year’s election cycle.
The tumultuous legislative session continued this week as the Arizona House of Representatives gained one member and lost two. Jevin Hodge (D-Tempe), a social impact consultant and former Congressional candidate, joined the legislature to fill the seat vacated when Representative Athena Salman (D-Tempe) resigned last year. Representative Amish Shah (D-Phoenix) resigned to focus on his race for Congress, and Representative Leezah Sun (D-Phoenix) resigned just before a House vote on her expulsion. There was bipartisan support for Sun’s departure after the House Ethics Committee determined she had engaged in disorderly conduct while in office.
Legislative economists provided more detail on the state’s budget deficit this week, explaining the factors that have led to a $1.7 billion shortfall over the next two years. Some revenues have dropped quickly – like corporate income taxes, which grew by a significant 250% in the last three years but are expected to fall 8.5% this year. Legislative advisors have watched the slow decline of others for months.
State agencies are at the center of attention at the legislature again this year, as Republican lawmakers emphasize their oversight role of executive departments that will expire in state statute without legislative action.