Session Update 2/27/23
With session at the halfway point, cross-over week, there are many bills that have narrowly made it through their respective committees and out of their chamber of origin. The Senate and House pushed forward with long caucus and floor sessions to get bills through the process. The chambers adjourned Wednesday afternoon and will resume work on Monday, February 27th and it is rumored that committees will be held off for another week in order for members to get more work done in committee of the whole and third reading of bills. That ultimately means that committees are likely to be extended a week and may lead to more bills having strike everything amendments. We all know that chaos can ensue with the last ditch effort that are strike everything’s.
While bills are progressing, there doesn’t seem to be a clear path forward on the approval and passage of the state budget. The one that Republicans pushed through was vetoed, unsurprisingly to some. There will need to be continued discussions and efforts to get Republicans and Democrats in the legislature and the Governor’s office to work together for a path forward. There are many people within the capitol community that will not be making summer vacation plans any time soon…
Session Update 1/26/23
Arizona’s 56th Legislature is on day 22 of session. So far, we have had a quiet start relative to the amount of bills that have been introduced: 883. This time last year there were well over 1,200 bills introduced and committees were doing marathon meetings with hearty discussions taking place. This Legislature welcomed forty new elected officials serving in the House and Senate, six of those members had previously served as members of the State Legislature. Additionally, there are new statewide elected officials, agency directors, and government liaisons that are all trying to get an idea of the current landscape and how to navigate a split government for the state of Arizona.
The House and Senate have a little over three weeks to hear bills in the chamber of origin and we are likely to see longer committee schedules before that deadline is reached. Republicans and Democrats have made it clear that they plan to prioritize their respective policy issues, which will likely favor the Republican bills that can be passed through both Chambers, but any that make it to the Governor’s desk will likely have a harder time getting the final stamp of approval. Since the short time that session has started two issues have been top of mind for both sides: the Aggregate Expenditure Limit and the expansion of Prop 400. Needless to say, that the Republican and Democratic members have their own ides of what the best solution is to both of these important issues and conversations will need to be had in order to reach an agreement sooner rather than later.
Overall, both sides have commented that early budget discussions are needed, and many people will be eagerly awaiting updates on how Republicans and Democrats can reach a compromise on a budget that Governor Hobbs will sign off on. The Legislature may be in session longer than most people would like and it’s likely the Arizona weather will be into triple digits before a state budget is passed.
The Chamber staff has been actively tracking bills that have an impact on the business community and we highly encourage ACE members to join our weekly calls on Friday for the most timely updates. Check out the list here: https://azcapitolreports.com/report/Evg