Arizona Legislature to officially end session, focus on coronavirus

May 7, 2020, 8:17 AM | Updated: 1:24 pm

karen fann doug ducey rusty bowers...

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, center, shakes hands with Senate president Karen Fann, R-Prescott, top right, as House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, left, applauds after Ducey delivered his State of the State address on the opening day of the 2020 legislative session. (FILE AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(FILE AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said Thursday the Legislature will officially end its session, allowing lawmakers to focus on coronavirus response.

Fann said in a press release the decision to convene Friday and close out the session – or sine die – was made in consultation with members of both chambers.

“There is a strong consensus that this is the right thing to do,” she said. “Recognizing that the health of Arizona citizens and our economic recovery are our highest priority, we are setting aside any legislative business that does not directly support this mission.”

However, the announcement apparently took Republican House leaders by surprise. House GOP spokesman Andrew Wilder said no decision on their plans has been made.

Fann, a Republican, said legislative task forces will be formed to deal with issues that arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Arizona’s lawmakers will identify the solutions necessary to accelerate our economic recovery while working to ensure that the constitutional liberties of all of Arizona’s citizens are preserved,” she said.

Senate Minority Leader David Bradley issued a statement supporting the move to end the session.

“Senate Democrats have been advocating for this decision since the legislature went on recess in March, believing it to be the best choice for Arizona,” he said.

“We are grateful to our Republican colleagues and Senate President Karen Fann for prioritizing public health over partisan politics.”

Fann and Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers had previously planned for the Legislature to meet May 1 to formally close out the session. But some Republicans pushed back, saying they wanted to complete their work, putting the plan in limbo.

Arizona lawmakers passed an emergency budget package March 23 and then adjourned, a week before Republican Gov. Doug Ducey issued a stay-home order designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. They haven’t convened since.

Ducey has extended the stay-at-home order though May 15 with modifications, allowing some businesses to start opening their doors this week while still prohibiting activities that draw together large groups of people.

On April 22, state Sen. Lupe Contreras announced that he and and five of his family members had contracted COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix apartment complex pool...

Child in critical condition after being pulled from Phoenix apartment complex pool

A four-year-old girl is in critical condition after drowning in a Phoenix apartment complex pool on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

1 hour ago

Ted Kleca was last seen on Sunday at around 3 a.m., officials said. (Chandler Police Department pho...

Serena O'Sullivan

Silver Alert issued for missing Chandler man with cognitive condition

The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert on Sunday for a 76-year-old Chandler man with a cognitive condition.

2 hours ago

File photo of a Valley Metro Tempe Streetcar. Officials are encouraging people to use mass transit ...

1 woman killed, another injured in crash involving a light rail train in Phoenix

One woman was killed and another was injured in a crash involving a light rail car in Phoenix on Saturday night.

4 hours ago

Phoenix Fire...

David Veenstra

Phoenix police identify teen boy killed in fiery crash

Phoenix police identified the teen boy who died after a fiery automobile crash in south Phoenix on Saturday afternoon.

5 hours ago

sign of tonto national forest displayed at entrance of recreation site...

Tom Kuebel

National Forest Foundation and SRP agree to 5-year forest restoration agreement

The National Forest Foundation and SRP agreed to a five-year partnership to reduce wildfire risk and protect watershed basins in the Tonto National Forest.

6 hours ago

The auction will feature more than 1,300 professionally appraised lots. (Sierra Auction Photos)...

David Veenstra

Arizona Department of Revenue to auction off unclaimed property

The Arizona Department of Revenue is auctioning off unclaimed property from abandoned safe deposit boxes this week.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Arizona Legislature to officially end session, focus on coronavirus