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Live Blog: The 54th Legislature comes to a close

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After 134 days in the 2019 legislative session, things are finally starting to wrap up.

The #StartYourOwnRumor hashtag may have begun prematurely last week, but with Senators Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek and Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix getting the majority caucus to agree to expand the statute of limitations for survivors of sexual assault to sue their abusers, voting on the budget was able to begin.

Gov. Doug Ducey already signed HB2466 tonight and the Senate began voting on budget bills.

Follow along here as we update live through the night until an eventual sine die. And follow along on Twitter, too: @AZCapitolTimes, @ben_giles for House coverage, and @jmshumway for Senate coverage.

 

 

12:58 a.m.

The Senate has adjourned sine die bringing the 54th Legislature to an end after 135 days.

12:23 a.m.

Winged Victory on sine die night 2019. (Photo by Dillon Rosenblatt/Arizona Capitol Times)

Winged Victory on sine die night 2019. (Photo by Dillon Rosenblatt/Arizona Capitol Times)

It is now day 135 of the legislative session. The House at first jokingly tried to adjourn and then successfully adjourned sine die notifying the Senate, who is awaiting a few more bills to engross before it can do the same. The House erupted in applause and the representatives began roaming around the floor to take photos with fellow reps, as well as hugging one another as they finish up their final day at the 2019 Legislature.

11:27 p.m.

The House is now back in joint caucus. The Senate continues to vote on final bills.

11:14 p.m.

The Senate is speeding through final votes on several bills on its way to sine die, while the House is still in recess.

11 p.m. 

The Legislature passes $11.8 billion budget

Three days after the House approved an $11.8 billion spending plan negotiated with Gov. Doug Ducey, the Senate caught up and approved it, too.

It only took the Arizona Legislature 134 days, and most of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, to get it done.

The unusually lengthy budget debate dragged on for more than a week after Senate President Karen Fann and House Speaker Rusty Bowers announced they’d struck a deal with the governor to increase year-over-year spending in Arizona’s budget by roughly $1.4 billion.

And for weeks before that, lawmakers were stuck fighting over $320 million in tax cuts designed to offset the higher income taxes that hit some Arizonans after the state failed a year ago to adopt a plan to conform to changes in federal tax law.

Lawmakers had also balked at Ducey’s chief policy priority: A balance of more than $1 billion in the rainy-day fund, an achievement that required a $542 million deposit in the state’s savings account.

In the end, Ducey got much of what he asked for when he proposed a spending plan in January, including his savings goal.

10:48 p.m.
The Senate has returned to the floor.

10:12 p.m.

The House and Senate are eating sine die ice cream before coming back to the floor. A sign that things will wrap up shortly.

9:17 p.m.

Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix had an historic moment at the speaker dais.

9:12 p.m.
The health budget bill passes 17-12. The Senate will now go into recess.

 

9:05 p.m.
The Senate has made it to the final budget bill. Fann says after this vote, the Senate will recess for caucus.

 

8:54 p.m.

The House has temporarily recessed; and the Senate officially voted 17-12 along party lines to approve the K-12 budget bill. They will vote on higher education next. 

The majority of Red for Ed supporters in the Senate gallery began to leave with applause from senators and a thank you from Senate President Karen Fann.

 

8:49 p.m.
The Senate is still discussing the K-12 bill, but it looks like it will pass on party lines.

 

8:29 p.m.
The House voted 37-23 to approve a higher per diem for lawmakers. It now heads back to the Senate before reaching the governor’s desk.

 

8:22 p.m.
The Senate voted along party lines for the main budget bill.

 

8:03 p.m.
The House is voting on a bill that would raise legislators’ per diem.

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