Successfully getting legislation passed in the Legislature requires strategizing, limiting the number of policy proposals, negotiating and learning from criticism, according to Arizona lawmakers with the highest “batting average” in successfully gaining approval from their colleagues and Gov. Doug Ducey. /Photo by Deposit Photos
By Tori Gantz | Arizona Capitol Times
In a narrowly divided House, Rep. Jeff Weninger says he knows what it takes to get legislation through both chambers and up to the Governor’s Office.
The Chandler Republican attributed a large part of his success to “competitiveness” throughout the legislative process. But his strategy also includes limiting his policy proposals to an amount that is reasonable for one lawmaker to control — typically 20 bills or fewer — and working with others who are interested in the bill’s concept to obtain a complete understanding of its intricacies.
Weninger said the most important trick he has learned is to “negotiate in good faith.” He said the bill language must be tight and define the exact meaning of any terminology that may be contested. It’s something he said he learned from former Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, who Weninger served with on a House committee early in his career.
“I was burned a time or two where I would negotiate with someone from the other side,” Weninger said. “So, I started being very deliberate with my language, in the future, saying, ‘OK, if I do this, would you be on board?’ because otherwise it’s just really not your bill anymore.”