Weekly Legislative Reports
To track AzTA’s involvement in the most recent legislative session, view our reports below.
The Arizona Legislature had a busy week filled with lengthy agendas/hearings as it was the last week to hear bills in the respective chamber of origin. If the bill did not receive a hearing at the conclusion of this week, it will likely be considered “dead” unless revived by a “strike-everything” amendment or waiver of rules (with some limited exceptions). Next week will be “cross-over” week with the expectation that all policy and “stand alone” policy measures will be halted in order for the House and Senate to pass a FY 20-21 budget. In regards to transit issues at the Legislature this week, Rep. Campbell’s (R-Prescott) HB 2899, which adds taxes on motor vehicle fuel, use fuel, natural gas, propane, and electric and hybrid vehicles, was heard in the House Transportation Committee which he serves as Chairman. Rep. Campbell testified that this has been a five year undertaking to provide a permanent funding source for transportation and infrastructure needs across Arizona. Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) also testified on the bill and said that he believes it is important in his leadership capacity to acknowledge that this extra tax is worth it to provide the necessary maintenance for our roads and infrastructure. The bill passed the House Transportation Committee with unanimous support (though three of the Committee’s Republicans were absent and did not vote on the measure).
The Arizona House of Representatives bill introduction deadline passed this week following the Senate’s same bill introduction limitation last week. Next week will be the final week for bills to be considered in their chamber of origin, so any remaining legislation needs to be heard by the end of the week to move forward in its current form without a waiver of rules or a strike-everything amendment (with some limited exceptions). As of today, 1,581 bills have been introduced in addition to another 126 memorials or resolutions. The final week of February (24th-28th) will be the “crossover” week in which Majority Leadership (from both bodies) has indicated their plans to have that week dedicated to passing the budget prior to moving forward with any other measures.
AzTA Advocacy Legislative Alert - HB 2885 (appropriation; transportation; infrastructure projects), sponsored by Rep. Noel Campbell (R-Prescott), was introduced Monday, February 10 in the Arizona House of Representatives. The bill would appropriate $95 million from the AZ Highway Patrol Fund “for transportation infrastructure projects.”
The Arizona Legislature is proceeding quickly, and getting closer to its “crossover” week, considered to be the traditional “half-way” point of the session. Friday, February 21 is the final day for bills to be considered in their house of origin, so any bills currently in the queue need to be heard within the next two weeks, or face dim prospects for advancement. As of this week, 1,487 bills have been introduced, a considerably larger number than in recent years. Also this week, the House Transportation Committee continued its presentations conducted over the last few weeks from various counties and cities across the state regarding their respective needs for road and infrastructure improvements under their jurisdiction. House Transportation Chairman, Noel Campbell (R-Prescott), requested these hearings to get a better perspective on the various needs facing Arizona and whether his proposed solution of an 18 cent gas tax increase would help provide extra revenue and support for their infrastructure improvements.
The Arizona Legislature is in the full swing of things in its third week with committee hearings already lasting late into the evening, and leadership in both chambers working behind the scenes to get members on board with a budget agreement. The House Republicans released their budget (a week later than anticipated) and, like the Senate’s proposal, it aligns closely to the Governor’s. The House framework differs from Governor Ducey’s by including $150M in tax cuts (even more than the Senate’s but without concrete details) and its budget fails to allocate monies for the Governor’s “Project Rocket,” one of Ducey’s priority educational policies to help support under-performing schools, as described in his State of the State Address earlier this month. Also this week, the House and Senate Transportation Committees continued to move various transportation/infrastructure projects in their respective chambers, including the widening of I-10 south of Phoenix, which passed unanimously this week. Like the many infrastructure bills heard in these first three weeks, we expect these proposals to ultimately be considered in budget negotiations and not move forward as a “stand-alone” bills.
Governor Ducey followed up on his State of the State address by releasing his FY 20-2021 budget detailing his proposals for the session last Friday. The Governor believes his proposal is fiscally conservative, balanced, and supportive of Arizona’s priorities: K-12 education, child safety, public safety, infrastructure, and workforce development. This week, Governor Ducey’s staff presented his budget to the joint House and Senate Appropriations Committees in an almost three hour hearing to start the short/MLK holiday week. In addition to the Governor’s budget, Senate Republicans also released their budget framework last Friday, aligning closely with Governor Ducey’s. Two of the biggest discrepancies in the Senate Republican’s framework are a $75M ongoing tax cut and a $50M one time tax reduction, but the details of both proposals were not included and simply stated that they would be further discussed during the legislative session.