PHOENIX — Although Arizona legislators do not return to their first session of the year until Jan. 11, many lawmakers and lobbyists are already being put to work.
Due to state laws, Arizona lawmakers will have their last opportunity to fundraise this upcoming week. On Jan. 11, after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State Address, legislators will head back to the Capitol and begin business.
Valley political analyst Stan Barnes said even though lawmakers are not required to be in session, that does not mean it is all fun and games. Like every year, there are dozens of fundraising events lined up the week before session.
“They turn into social experiences that are about people and politics and everyone that is around self-government at the state Capitol,” he said.
Political insiders, such as Barnes, have a special nickname for this period due to the increased amount of fundraising efforts and events: Hell week.
Barnes said although the nickname may be a bit degrading to the activities done during the week, it is a time for lawmakers and lobbyists to reestablish important political connections that may impact the outcome of various bills and laws.
“It has become kind of a thing and it is interesting and it is just one of those Arizona things that makes us a little different,” he said.