Attendance was generally high from lawmakers in the Legislature, with some exceptions./ Photo by Deposit Photos
By Jeremy Yurow | Arizona Capitol Times July 22, 2022
Despite going 166 days, the second regular session of Arizona’s 55th Legislature saw generally good attendance from lawmakers in both the House and Senate. Beyond the standouts, however, there were also some exceptions.
In the state House of Representatives, all members were on time for 90.4% of their roll calls and on the floor for 94.8% of votes on average. Republican members showed better timeliness and participation than Democrats, attending 94.4% of roll calls and 98% of votes. Democrats attended 86.1% of roll calls and 91.5% of votes.
Democratic Rep. Athena Salman avoided the Legislature for almost the entire session. Salman showed up for the roll call just 5% of the time and only 4% of the votes. Her husband, Democratic Sen. Juan Mendez, also missed most of the session. He attended just 8% of roll calls and was on the floor for 7% of votes.
Both of their absences were intentional as the two had cited the risk of exposing their newborn daughter to Covid. In January, legislative leaders removed almost all Covid protocols in the Capitol. They allowed an option for virtual attendance, but only if a lawmaker came to the Capitol and participated from their office.