An old watchtower bell is mounted on the sidewalk in front of the state capitol building/Arizona Capitol Times
By Julia Shumway | Arizona Capitol Times
A bill moratorium and a budget stalemate meant the House and Senate weren’t conducting any real business before Gov. Doug Ducey called a special session – so why call one?
Ducey’s team insists that it’s simply to ensure everyone remains focused on the wildfires threatening the state. But as the governor spent the week feuding with universities over vaccination policies, cutting a ribbon in Nogales and soliciting praise for his stalled tax plan, some Capitol denizens questioned whether the special session was more about politics than policy.
Sen. Juan Mendez, a Tempe Democrat and the sole lawmaker to vote against a fire-funding bill in committee, said he believes the special session was called solely to make it look like the Legislature is working, and working in a bipartisan manner.
“I can’t see any other reason than political theater,” he said. “They’re embarrassed by the fact that they can’t get their caucus to agree on funding the government.”