Weekly Legislative Reports
To track AzTA’s involvement in the most recent legislative session, view our reports below.
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.
The 54th Arizona Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, officially began Monday, January 13 with Governor Doug Ducey delivering his sixth State of the State address to the Legislature. The Governor focused on the State’s strong economy bolstered by its pro business climate in which Ducey and legislators continue to find ways to eliminate burdensome regulations and reduce the size of government. Some other key highlights from the Governor’s speech focused on improving the lives of veterans, requiring insurance companies to treat mental health services in the same way as an annual physical, and investing in infrastructure (mostly transportation-related) and education. Bills began to be introduced, including a few of interest to AzTA members.
Today, the Forty-fourth Legislature’s Second Regular Session commenced and Republican Governor Doug Ducey delivered his State of the State address. Beginning his speech, Governor Ducey touted the State’s strong economy in which Arizona household incomes have hit record levels while crime rates throughout the state have declined. Noting that over 70% of adult Arizonans were born elsewhere, he said people are flocking to Arizona due to the open and friendly business environment that Ducey and legislative leadership have helped foster by reducing burdensome regulations over the previous legislative sessions. He said the rest of the country is looking at Arizona as a leader in deregulation, like the universal recognition occupational licensing bill that passed last session, allowing licensed professionals across the United States to bring their skills to Arizona to work.
The 54th Arizona Legislature, First Regular Session, concluded its business by adjourning sine die at 12:58 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28. The session lasted 135 days, quite a bit longer than in recent years, and produced 1,318 bills, 261 of which have so far been signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey (as of 5/29). Currently, the Governor has vetoed seven bills. By law, the Governor has 10 days after adjournment to take action on all passed legislation.