by Stephanie Holland

The 53rd Arizona Legislative Session adjourned Sine Die on May 10th. 1,079 bills were introduced. Of those, 352 were passed onto Governor Ducey’s desk and 300 were signed into law. The Governor has until May 22nd to take action on the remaining bills on his desk. If Governor Ducey does not take action on a bill, it automatically becomes law.

This session was the third for Governor Ducey and the first for 23 legislators, mostly members of the House. Representative Ben Toma, Arizona’s newest lawmaker, took over for Phil Lovas who left the Arizona State Legislature due to an appointment from the Trump administration as the Western States liaison to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Education was a dominant topic during the session. Probably the most contentious of the bills passed was SB 1431/HB 2394, which expanded Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program (ESA) to all Arizona K-12 students.

$27 million was approved to be appropriated to the state’s’ public universities starting in 2019 through 2043. The money is to be used for capital project debt service or construction costs. The budget will also establish a Capital Infrastructure Fund (CIF) where the annual appropriation will be deposited along with a 1:1 match from the university.

The Legislature also took action to tighten the rules around Arizona’s citizen-initiative process. HB2404 prohibits people or organizations from paying people to obtain ballot initiative signatures.

Thank you for choosing Arizona Voices to help you navigate the 2017 Arizona Legislative Session. Stay involved over the summer and we’ll see you back for the next legislative session!


About Stephanie

Stephanie Holland, a senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is the Public Relations and Digital Media Intern at Greater Phoenix Leadership.

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53rd Arizona Legislative Session Wrap Up