Arizona State Legislature Reconvenes

The Arizona State Legislature reconvened today, marking the beginning of what promises to be a dynamic and eventful session. The upcoming 2024 elections will cast a shadow over the proceedings, influencing session length, legislative dynamics, and potential resignations by lawmakers eyeing Congressional seats. As the session kicks off, there is already one vacancy as Representative Athena Salman resigned her seat last month.

The political landscape remains tense with Arizona’s state government divided between parties. The one-vote majority Republicans hold over Democrats in the House and Senate is expected to fuel debates and clashes. Legal battles also loom as Republicans sue Governor Hobbs over her decision to appoint state agency leaders outside the Senate’s confirmation process.

Financial challenges add another layer of complexity, with no budget surplus and a predicted deficit of over $400 million. The conversation about spending, budget cuts, and the use of the $1.5 billion savings account will be at the forefront. Disagreements persist between Democrats and Republicans on the cause of the shortfall, with Democrats pointing to the flat tax and universal school voucher program as culprits. Republicans disagree and believe continued spending is the problem and that they can address the current shortfall with targeted cuts and government efficiencies.

Policy goals for both parties encompass child safety, criminal justice reform, education improvements, election law alterations, healthcare, housing policies, and regulatory changes. The contentious universal school voucher program (Empowerment Scholarship Accounts – ESAs) takes center stage as Democrats and Republicans clash over its growth and oversight. Water, a perennially divisive issue in Arizona, will also receive heightened attention, with almost 40 bills related to water introduced so far.

While legislative leaders anticipate a shorter session than the last, the challenges and controversies ahead suggest it will be far from uneventful.

We are just a week away from the Arizona Day at the Capitol, on Jan. 16. With all that’s happening, it’s vital to get ahead of the conversation and ensure policymakers know credit unions’ importance and goals for serving their constituents. Don’t miss out! Register today for the Day at the Capitol here.


Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Arizona Advocacy.