Commentary by Bob Karp
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as of April 24, 2020 the Arizona state legislature current session is in temporary adjournment, with only a "skinny budget" passed and a few other bills. This past week the Republican leaders of the state senate and house, with the approval of the Democratic leaders, agreed that both houses would reconvene on May 3 and then end the session sine die. (Which means adjourned without assigning a date for further meeting.) The assumption is that Governor Ducey would call a special session of the legislature sometime in June to pass an updated 2020-2021 budget after getting new numbers on collected revenues to offset a probable budget deficit of approximately $1 billion dollars. Adjourning sine die effectively kills a lot of the GOP's proposed legislation including a lot of concurrent resolutions to put particularly onerous referendums on the November ballot.
Apparently the GOP rank and file wasn't having this and now wants to "get back to work". Or as the Herald/Review says in a 4/24/2020 editorial, "...they hope to ram through bills and initiatives they have promised to lobbyists and to accomplish their ongoing objective of taking legislative authority away from citizens and giving it to the Legislature."
During this session of the legislature a record number of bills were introduced, most of them terrible! I have said repeatedly that governing is not dependent on passing a lot of legislation. I know that most politicians always brag about all the bills they authored, but most don't get passed. As a freshman state senator I will spend most of my first two years in the state senate listening, learning, and asking the right questions. I don't think I have to author a lot of bills to make a difference, although I have a couple in mind.
For too long the GOP majority thinks that with a Republican governor and majorities in both houses they can push through bills that have little to do with making the lives of Arizona residents better.
With the crisis now facing our state and country, now is the time to get real and focus on what is important, making sure our state is prepared for the future with a vision that ensures stability and success. State leaders face an enormously difficult moment when confronting the looming budget deficit. They need to step up and get serious. Forgot about lobbyists and special interests and these "culture wars" issues and sharpen your pencils and get down to business.
Taking a line from James Carville, "it's the budget stupid!"
Read the entire Herald/Review Editorial
Politics inspires GOP work ethic, Herald/Review April 24, 2020