“This Year’s Legislative Session Is One For The Record Books”
Governor Doug Ducey today released the following statement on the conclusion of the 2021 Arizona Legislature:
“This year’s legislative session is one for the record books. It lasted longer than anyone anticipated but it accomplished more than most thought possible. I believe it will go down in history as one of the most successful legislative sessions in recent memory.
“I’m proud that we were able to come together and finalize policies and a budget that will benefit Arizonans all across our state. No matter where you live, what you do or how much you earn, the policies and strategic investments endorsed by the Arizona Legislature this year will have a direct and positive impact on your life. What we achieved here this year will improve the quality of life for all Arizonans.
“Last week, lawmakers put their stamp of approval on historic tax reform legislation – the single largest tax cut in Arizona history – a priority I outlined during my State of the State Address in January. This legislation primes the pump for new growth and opportunities in our state. It cements Arizona’s well-deserved reputation as a magnet for job creators.
“But tax reform is only part of the story. We’re dramatically expanding telehealth services. We’re securing body cameras for every State Trooper. We’re making unprecedented investments in education and infrastructure. We’re increasing access to broadband. We’re paying down state debt. We’re putting more boots on the ground to fight wildfires and strengthen border security. We’re improving Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program. And we’re providing millions of dollars in revenue for critical state needs thanks to our new state-tribal gaming compact.
“I’m deeply grateful to Senate President Karen Fann and Speaker Rusty Bowers for their partnership and leadership this session, and for their dedication to serving our state. I’m also appreciative of all the legislators who worked tirelessly over the past six months to advance legislation that will make Arizona a better place to live, work and raise a family. They got the job done and on behalf of every Arizonan I say thank you.”
Below are a highlights of just some of the bills Governor Ducey signed this legislative session:
On March 9, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1442 to prevent wildfires by allowing for additional partnerships to employ Arizona inmates to clear forests of debris. The legislation aligns with the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative proposed in the Governor’s budget which builds on proven methods to protect communities, while engaging individuals in state correctional facilities to equip them with new skills and reduce recidivism.
On April 5, the Governor signed SB 1377 to ensure Arizonans acting in good faith during the COVID-19 pandemic are protected against frivolous civil claims. Health care professionals, businesses, schools, nonprofits, governments, religious institutions, and property owners are among the entities to which the legislation applies.
On April 6, the Governor signed SB 1067 to extend Arizona’s Prison Transition Program and continue offering help to those who have served time, expanding on his administration’s commitment to public safety and responsible criminal justice reform.
On April 27, the Governor signed SB 1457 to expand protections for unborn children with a genetic abnormality. With this legislation, Arizona remains among the top pro-life states in the nation.
On May 4, the Governor signed SB 1453 to allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees, pave the way for Arizona’s current and future workforces and expand opportunities for populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education.
On April 15, the Governor signed HB 2772, which is part of a compromise that was negotiated in an amended tribal-state gaming compact. The amended compact and the associated legislation will modernize gaming in Arizona and provide millions of dollars in revenue for critical state needs.
On May 5, the Governor signed House Bill 2454 to expand access to telemedicine and provide greater opportunities for accessible medical services around the state, including in rural communities. That same day, Governor Ducey signed legislation to ensure clean water in nearly 800 Arizona streams, lakes and rivers that are critical for drinking, fishing and recreation. He also signed legislation to ensure innocent Arizonans do not have their property permanently forfeited without a criminal conviction.
On May 7, the Governor signed SB 1382 to protect the Second Amendment rights of Arizonans by safeguarding against frivolous lawsuits that have no connection to unlawful use of firearms. The new state law mirrors federal law that was passed on a bipartisan basis.
On May 10, the Governor signed HB 2596, aimed at expanding broadband access in Arizona by allowing private broadband providers to install, operate and maintain telecommunications equipment within the Arizona Department of Transportation’s rights-of-way.
On May 11, the Governor signed SB 1485 to build on the state’s leadership in election integrity, protect Arizona voters and streamline the way elections are conducted. This action by the Governor is in addition to a number of other bills he signed that further protect election integrity in Arizona.
On May 21, the Governor signed HB 2773 to allow bars, liquor stores and restaurants to sell cocktails to-go, expanding opportunities for businesses across the state. The signing was enthusiastically received by industry representatives and business owners.
On June 18, the Governor signed a $100 million bipartisan relief package as part of a special session to support firefighters and safety officials as they battle wildfires, ensure Arizona communities have the resources necessary for post-fire disasters such as flooding and reduce the risk from future wildfires.
On June 30, the Governor signed Arizona’s fiscally conservative budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which cuts taxes for all taxpayers while investing in education, transportation, public safety, public health, water security and more key areas that matter to Arizonans.