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Extending AZ legislative session could be iffy

There’s no legal barrier to prevent lawmakers from continuing other legislative work once they’ve approved a new state budget before the fiscal year starts July 1.

But practicalities could be a problem for the part-time Legislature.

There’s always a falloff in legislative attendance as sessions slip into June, with lawmakers coming and going for other jobs, family commitments, and even previously planned vacations and conferences.

If enough House and Senate members aren’t on hand, that could make it impossible to pass legislation. That’s because bills must be passed by majorities of each chamber, not just of those lawmakers on hand for a vote.

The Arizona Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group lobbying for passage of several bills, recently urged its supporters to implore lawmakers to stick around even after a budget is passed. ”All it takes is a few legislators to leave and the session is effectively over.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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