Arizona Legislature plans to adjourn for good next week, dooming heaps of bills

Steve Benson/Arizona Mirror

By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic

Leaders at the Arizona Legislature said Tuesday they will return to the Capitol on May 1 and officially end the annual session, which was already on pause amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Adjourning the session sine die will scrap the mountain of bills and proposed ballot questions that lawmakers have worked on since January involving issues that range from elections to the cancer claims of firefighters and teacher misconduct. The Legislature passed a basic budget at the end of March and elected to take a three-week break as a public health precaution.

Legislative leaders had already pushed back their initial — and highly tentative — goal of returning to the Capitol on April 13 with a mounting number of COVID-19 cases around Arizona and Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay at home order that extends through the end of the month.

An agreement among legislative leaders on Tuesday extinguished any notion of carrying on the session as normal.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, and Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, plan to go back into their respective chambers at the beginning of May to officially wrap up business.

The whole process could take just a few minutes.

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