Democratic lawmakers having tough time getting bills heard in Arizona

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 9:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Arizona legislature is stuck on 31 to 29, meaning 31 Republican votes in favor and 29 Democratic votes against.

The Republicans have a one-vote margin in both the House and Senate and they’re using that one vote to take absolute control of the legislative process.

Of the 200 bills voted on during the legislative session so far, 196 bills have been sponsored by the Republican party. Democrats have sponsored only four and it has the Democrats crying foul.

“Why would they continue with this abusive behavior?” asked House Minority Leader Andres Cano of Tucson. The short answer is, “they can get away with it.”

One vote is enough to advance drag queen bills, critical race theory bills, anti-woke legislation and even book banning.

“I think right now a loud portion of the republican party is still bent on fighting the culture wars,” said Tucson Representative Stephanie Stahl Hamilton.“It’s a power grab.”

But Democrats have a power of their own. Governor Katie Hobbs is the democrat’s backstop on the legislature. She has already vetoed 16 republican bills and may very well eclipse the record set by democratic Governor Janet Napolitano who vetoed 115 bills in 2006.

“There are a few folks who are entrenched in certain culture wars because that is what is most important to them and to us it really feels like game playing,” said Stahl Hamilton. “It’s dangerous.”

At this pace, it’s likely budget bills, water bills, education bills, and social contracts, are the kinds of bills that will never see the light of day unless there is compromise and so far that’s not likely.

“I believe the house and senate republicans are trying every single day to out smart a duly elected governor and they will fail in that mission,” Cano said. “Governor Hobbs will be governor Hobbs for the next four years.”