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Lawmakers’ voting participation remains high in shorter session

Records from the past three legislative sessions point to a simple truism of the citizen-legislature model: The shorter the session, the better the attendance.

By keeping a 100-day session — the length prescribed by legislative rules — 27 of the Legislature’s 90 members voted on every bill that was brought to the floor, and only one lawmaker missed more than 20 percent of floor votes.

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UpClose with David Schapira: Found some success at blocking legislation with ‘watchdog’ approach

The Senate minority announced an audacious goal this year — to put the spotlight on Republicans and their legislation. That task fell to a young father to articulate his party’s positions in a year when Republicans, who are control both chambers, don’t even need a single Democratic vote to pass emergency legislation.

The immediate challenge for Senate Minority Leader David Schapira, a Tempe Democrat, and his caucus was to avoid being relegated to irrelevance.

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Republicans decide against trying to override any of Brewer’s vetoes (access required)

Before the session began, Republicans crowed about the super majorities, and boasted that it would allow them to overrule Gov. Jan Brewer, should she have the temerity to veto their bills.

But Brewer vetoed 29 bills this year, including several that had overwhelming Republican support in both chambers. And despite their supermajority advantage, the Republicans in the House and Senate never once tried to override a veto.

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