Arizona’s 56th Legislature is on day 18 of session. So far, we have had a quiet start relative to the number of bills that have been introduced: 779. This time last year, well over 1,200 bills were introduced, and committees were doing marathon meetings with hearty discussions. This session is different compared to the last decade or so because of the shake up that our legislature received post re-districting, elections, and overall turnover. Forty new elected officials are serving in the House and Senate, and six of those members have previously served as members of the State Legislature. There are many new faces and names to be remembered between the House and the Senate, and the same can be said for our statewide office holders in addition to newly appointed agency directors and liaisons.
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. 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 Chamber has been actively tracking bills that have an impact on the business community and our committees have been hard at work taking positions on various bills. We encourage you to get involved and see which bills impact business.