Each year around this time—and Happy Thanksgiving to all Globe readers—the AZ legislature opens the floodgates to an onslaught of bill ideas for the new calendar year. This year, like those previous, is already receiving an onslaught of bill ideas spanning the gamut of interests and needs, including the reintroduction of the tamale bill (yes, you read that correctly).
The bill recommendations on tap this year include the aforementioned “tamale” bill, sponsored by House Speaker Pro-Tem Travis Grantham (R14), legalizing street sales of homemade tamales, which Gov. Hobbs previously vetoed due to concerns over food safety. Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Quantá Crews (D-26), calls for official observance of a “national day of racial healing,” which is held on the third Tuesday in January – a week after the observance of Martin Luther King Day. House Bill 2001 would be Crews’ first piece of legislation following her appointment by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to replace Raquel Terán (D-26), who resigned to focus on a run for Debbie Lesko’s CD8 seat, challenging Ruben Gallego.
A number of the bill proposals introduce minor “tweaks” to existing laws, many designed to extend legislation with 2024 expirations. The first “official” 2024 bill, introduced by State Senator Priya Sundareshan (D-LD18), proposes re-authorizing the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind for another ten years.
The upcoming legislative session may prove to be the most contentious in years. Democrat lawmakers point out that they are just one seat away from flipping the House and Senate and are aggressively soliciting contributions.
It remains unclear whether this bold prediction will come true. Arizona has been hovering in the “purple” range for several election cycles, many claiming that the mass exodus from California to Arizona is shifting the political spectrum in Arizona politics. The 2022 election results produced squeakers for Governor Hobbs (D), AG Kris Mayes (D), SOS Adrian Fontes (D), Sen. Kirsten Sinema (I), and several other state executive and legislative positions. Pundits predict that the balance of power in Arizona will turn on the presidential election and whether Republicans will be able to adjust their voter outreach. The state of the economy, including the high cost of homes in Arizona, will likely significantly impact the outcome.
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