Arizona House Holding Meetings But Hopes To Adjourn Same Week

By Lauren Gilger, Steve Goldstein, Ben Giles
Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 12:15pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 6:50am

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The Arizona House of Representatives floor
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
The Arizona House of Representatives floor in 2019.

The Arizona House is back to holding committee hearings, but hopes to adjourn by May 21.

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on May 18 after their colleagues in the Senate voted to recess on May 8.

House Republicans voted to stay in session over the objection of the chamber’s Democratic minority.

Democrats like Rep. Reginald Bolding argued that most of the bills the House is scheduled to consider this week, bills that range in topic from medical marijuana to accounting, have nothing to do with the crisis at hand: The COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those bills are not specifically COVID-19 related, and that has to be, that has to be our focus right now,” Bolding said.

But Republicans rejected a motion to end the session immediately Tuesday afternoon on a 31-29 party line vote. Democrats argued that the House should instead call a special session to deal with COVID-19 issues only.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) claimed, however, that most Arizonans want to get back to work, and that it was time for the House to do the same.

“We’re saying we trust you,” Bowers said to Arizonans. “Be responsible, be safe, be diligent, watch out for each other, go back to work, watch out, be careful.”

Whatever work the House accomplishes this week will be for naught unless the Senate agrees to return to the Capitol and help facilitate the legislative process of voting on bills and sending them to the governor’s desk for his approval.

Though the Senate voted to end the session on May, Senate President Karen Fann indicated she’d support returning to the Capitol if the House insisted.

For more on this, The Show spoke to Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, who is preparing for a day of legislative action after a bit of a hiatus. 

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