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It was a full two day work week then they recessed!

Twenty-eight bills received a final vote last week and were sent to the governor. She quickly dispatched seven bills by using her veto stamp on Thursday June 16th. Three of the seven were bills addressing drag shows or vaguely defined indecent exposure events. Two vetoed bills tried to insert the culture war into public contracts and government investments. Also vetoed was the ability for a county to decide to hand count votes outside the state’s prescribed hand count check. The last veto addressed teacher training. Our Freedom Caucus wants to know the specifics of what teachers are learning. They want to “catch” any diversity or progressive ideology training.

The governor quickly signed two bills last week. One simply extended the date of a water report and the other dealt with biosolids and waste materials.

There are still bills sitting on the governor’s desk waiting for her review and signature or veto.

It is highly unlikely we will see any sorely needed housing bills come back when the legislature returns on July 31st. Most of the bills hanging around for months were pushed through for a vote last week. So many, mostly Dem bills, were left without seeing the light of day. There could always be surprises but there is no strong indication too many more shockers are in store. The surprises from the current legislature are never good ones. Fingers crossed!

There could be a new attempt to bring a legislative referendum on Prop. 400 to the 2024 ballot but it is unlikely to address current needs. Last week the legislature passed on partisan lines, a bill to extend Prop 400 by breaking apart into separate votes, the extension on highway funding and light rail funding.

Maricopa County is the only county needing legislative approval to put a proposition extension on the ballot. Our current legislative republican majority wants to tank the light rail, specifically the extension already under way going to .... the capitol!

Mayors from Maricopa County’s larger cities are already thinking of putting forward a citizens’ initiative which would require gathering a large number of signatures to put a comprehensive question to voters to allow the 1/2 cent sales tax to continue. The governor who will likely veto this legislative referral would prefer she and the legislature come to an agreement but has said the citizen’s referral may be the only way to extend the Maricopa 1/2 cent tax in a responsible manner.

The latest count for bills sent to the governor is 345. She has signed 167, has vetoed 118 with the remainder still on her desk for consideration. The governor has five days after receiving a bill, excluding Sundays, to sign or veto the bill while the legislature is in session. If she does not sign or veto a bill it can become law without a signature. Some of the bills passed last week did not make it to her desk by Friday so we might see a lot of action this coming week. When the session formally ends, Sine Die, the governor has ten days to act on a bill.

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