Photo by Franck Boston/DEPOSIT PHOTO
By Dillon Rosenblatt, Julia Shumway, Nathan Brown | Arizona Capitol Times
Covid and increased Capitol security aside, this January at the Legislature started like almost every one before it.
Lawmakers and their assistants scurried between the House and Senate, passing bill folders back and forth to collect signatures and promises to support legislation. Grand ideas to dramatically change state government, tiny technical corrections fixing apostrophe placement, bills that took up two sentences and bills that ran for hundreds of pages all landed in hoppers in the House and Senate, ending with a record 1,708 bills — and another 115 memorials and resolutions — ready for hearings.
Six weeks later, more than half of them are legally dead.
Some bills gain new life, others born with ‘strikers’
For every rule in the Legislature, there’s a maneuver to bend it. When it comes to session deadlines, strike-everything amendments buy another chance for seemingly dead bills.
This year, strikers on electronic cigarettes, unemployment and elections surfaced after deadlines for them to be heard in committee.