Monday marked the start of the First Regular Session of the 51st Legislature. In addition to the swearing-in of returning and
newly-elected legislators, President Andy Biggs and Speaker of the House Andy Tobin were officially voted to their leadership
positions. The floor of the House of Representatives was packed with families, elected officials and dignitaries as they assembled to
hear the Governor Jan Brewer's annual State of the State address. A brief statement on the address can be found below.
Thursday at 5 p.m. marked the deadline for representatives to introduce unlimited legislation. From that point forward, each
representative may only introduce seven additional bills. A breakdown of important legislative dates can be found below.
Next week, the Legislature will not convene on Monday in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Despite its shortened length,
next week will likely be busy as committees begin to hear bills in earnest.
State of the State
Governor Brewer delivered her State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on January 14th. In her 37-minute
speech, the governor outlined past accomplishments and goals for the coming year. Although she did not go into tremendous detail, she
does plan to address the expansion of Medicaid, increased funding for Child Protective Services and school resource officers,
immigration reform, and simplifying the sales tax code. The League is, of course, particularly interested in the last point and will be
in close communication with the executive and legislative branches on this issue.
Last year HB 2826 (consolidated election dates) was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor, despite the League's
opposition. The League understands and appreciates that this is an issue that mayors and councilmembers across the state are passionate
about. We will continue to study and gather data on under-voting and election costs; nevertheless, it is time to move forward on key
statutory changes that are needed to ensure the smoothest possible transition to a consolidated election schedule. State authorization
on modifying terms of office and a one-time allowance in order to painlessly transition "home rule" authority onto a fall schedule will
benefit both Capitol and municipal interests.
Every session has deadlines pertaining to bill submissions and hearings. These are established by rule and are subject to change. This
year, the schedule is as follows:
Thursday, the 17th - House 7-bill Introduction Limit Begins (5 p.m.)
Monday, the 4th - Senate Bill Introduction Deadline (5 p.m.)
Monday, the 11th - House Bill Introduction Deadline (5 p.m.)
Friday, the 22nd - Last Day to hear bills in the chamber of origin
Friday, the 22nd - Last Day to hear bills in the opposing chamber
Tuesday, the 23rd - 100th Day of Session
Changes to the Legislative Bulletin
In the coming weeks the League will be implementing a new format for the Legislative Bulletin. Rather than provide a detailed narrative
description and update on all municipally-related legislation that saw action during the prior week, the Bulletin will highlight only
the top half-dozen or so topics and bills. Other legislation that the League is actively engaged on will still be monitored and
updated; however, that information will be stored on a Legislative Bill Monitoring page on the League website. The Bulletin will link
to the legislation that has been updated in our Legislative Bill Monitoring Section. We hope these changes will make it more convenient
for you to keep up to date on the latest legislative activities, while still providing a resource for more detailed information.
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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