In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona Legislature suspended their second 54th Regular Session on Monday, March 23, 2020, a little more than a month before the 100-day marker that loosely defines adjournment. Before they recessed, they passed a basic budget, some COVID-19 specific legislation, and several bills that had already made it through the legislative process. Governor Ducey signed all bills into law passed by the Legislature.
Though originally set to reconvene on April 13, 2020, it is unknown when or if the Legislature will reconvene. Its other options include adjourning this session altogether (i.e., sine die) or adjourning and calling a special session for specific areas (e.g., more COVID-19 legislation).
The Legislature recessed during the last week of committee hearings in the opposite chamber. This means, for instance, that each House bill had to pass through its assigned committee in the Senate and vice versa to survive past March 27, 2020. With some bills still languishing in their originating chamber, and many more in other parts of the process, 658 bills remain in limbo.
Several of our Practice Groups here at Gammage & Burnham were carefully following many of the bills under consideration during this legislative session. Only one, HB2668, which establishes the Health Care Investment Fund for Arizona’s hospitals, will become law regardless of the outcome of this legislative session. Even given this unprecedented turn of events, we will continue to monitor the Legislature and their actions over the coming weeks.