The tension thing: Lawmakers weigh in on disputes, divisiveness of session

House Speaker Rusty Bowers speaks to rancor and grandstanding in th 2019 session,
/Arizona Chamber of Commerce

By Katie Campbell | Arizona Capitol Times

The state House of Representatives is notoriously cantankerous, but this legislative session was more confrontational than anyone remembers.

Some felt it more than others, but the consensus is the 2019 legislative session was different.

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“Tension is going to happen,” House Speaker Rusty Bowers said. “It’s not the end of the world because there’s a tense session on the floor. We ended up cheering and shaking hands and leaving, which was good for everybody.”

The tension itself is not what defines the people at the Legislature, but rather how they work through it, he added.

How the speaker intends to manage the chaos next year is yet to be seen. But Bowers knows the rancor will continue, if not grow.

“Because of the impending election, there will be a lot more grandstanding, which is always fun to watch. It’s not very helpful, but it’s sometimes entertaining,” he said.

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