Fate of COVID-19 liability bill unclear as Arizona Senate returns for 1 day

Senate President Karen Fann R-Prescott, is looking to wrap up all unfinished Legislature business on Tuesday./Howard Fischer / Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

 State senators will return to the Capitol on Tuesday with the goal of finally finishing out the on-again, off-again legislative session that began in January.

But it remains to be seen whether there are the votes for — or even the interest in considering — two last-minute measures approved Thursday by the House before it shut down its session.

The more controversial of these, House Bill 2912, would limit the liability of businesses facing lawsuits from patrons and customers who claim they contracted COVID-19. It would require them to prove not just that the business was negligent in its operations but that it was grossly negligent — essentially that there was a conscious and voluntary disregard for reasonable standards of care.

It’s not simply a matter of lining up the necessary 16 votes to approve the bill. There’s also a procedural issue.

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