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'round and 'round they go....

Since the 2024 legislative session began in January, six democrats and one republican have left the AZ House of Representatives. The one republican was expelled. The six democrats left for a variety of reasons.  Sadly, at least two strong women, members of the democratic caucus will not run again to retain their seats. While reasons vary widely, the extreme toxic environment currently in place in both legislative chambers makes the ability to serve challenging.


As the weekend began, the governor still had many bills on her desk awaiting her signature or the veto stamp.

Two bills addressing guns are among those awaiting action by Governor Hobbs and should see her action by mid-week. HB2843 would expand the use of the Castle doctrine defense. The Castle doctrine allows individuals to threaten or use physical force against someone if they are threatened first, in their home. HB2843 expands the use of the Castle Doctrine to the entire property owned by an individual, not just their residence. While the sponsor said the expansion was to clear up any legal uncertainly he also made comments in committee about the expanded use of the Castle doctrine defense and migrants crossing private property.

SB1189 would prohibit a political subdivision (city, town, county) from prohibiting or regulating gun shows in their jurisdiction. Gun dealers who are not federally licensed dealers are not required to do background checks but can sell guns at gun shows. In Arizona you must be 18 to buy a gun in a private transaction but 21 to buy from a dealer with a federal license.

Budget negotiation could begin in earnest after the April meeting of the Finance Advisory Committee (FAC) on April 11th. The governor just met with legislative leadership for the first time, this past week, on budget items. She was waiting for current figures on the budget deficit and revenue projections which will be out this Thursday. The previous budget report had Arizona’s revenue $1.7 billion in the red. Reduced revenue as a result of the flat tax and added voucher expenses are the biggest causes of the revenue deficit.

Both chambers of the legislature are off until Wednesday, April 10th, when it looks like they will put in a one day work week. The current plan is to meet on Wednesdays only until we have a budget. Generally only a select few lawmakers are included in budget negotiations. Since the legislature is still in session, but only meeting one day a week, lawmakers can still receive their per diem pay for expenses related to any legislative work. This is in addition to their salary.

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