Arizona Legislative Session Comes to an End

The Arizona 53rd Second Regular Legislative Session lasted 117 days and adjourned sine die on May 4. Of the 1,279 bills introduced this session, 346 bills were signed by Governor Doug Ducey and 23 were vetoed. Three main issues dominated this session: teachers’ pay, the opioid epidemic and school safety. In early April, Governor Ducey announced his plan to increase teachers’ pay, which would include a 20 percent overall increase by fiscal year 2020, resulting in an average teacher salary of $58,130. This issue ultimately caused teachers to strike for six days, because no legislation was introduced to include a pay increase. The Governor addressed the opioid epidemic during his State of the State address in January, and called for a special session to tackle this issue. The legislation produced during the special session established regulations on the prescribing and regulation of schedule II controlled substances, and also addressed recovery programs for opioid addiction. The school safety issue arose after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. While legislation was introduced to address this topic, the bill (SB1519) did not make it through the full legislative process.

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