Az Legislature passes Prop. 400 Maricopa transportation invoice, ends prolonged session

In a defeat to the Arizona
Legislature’s conservative Freedom Caucus, each chambers on Monday
handed a invoice that may ask voters in Maricopa County to proceed
Proposition 400, a half-cent transportation tax that funds roads and
public transportation. 

The passage of Senate Invoice 1102,
which can put Prop. 400 to the voters for the third time since 1984,
when it was initially accepted, additionally marked the tip of a drawn out and
contentious legislative session that lasted a report 203 days. 

As soon as Gov. Katie Hobbs indicators the invoice,
which she is predicted to do, it’s going to direct Maricopa County to carry a
countywide election to ask the voters to increase the transportation tax
for 20 years. The tax funds road and freeway initiatives, together with
public transportation, a degree of rivalry for these within the Freedom

However the laws impacts residents
everywhere in the state, not simply in Maricopa County, as a result of if Prop. 400
fails, all the different counties should compete with Maricopa for
restricted state transportation funding. 

The invoice features a $24 billion plan
over 20 years, with 40.5% allotted to freeways and highways, 37% to
public transit and 22.5% to roads and intersections. 

Voters final accepted the tax in 2004
and it’s set to run out on the finish of 2025. It has funded initiatives like
the sunshine rail, State Route 51, State Route 24 and Loops 101, 202 and

Each homes of the legislature beforehand accepted a unique model of SB1102 in June favored by Republicans, passing it alongside social gathering strains, however Hobbs vetoed that invoice, saying it was time to come back collectively to create a bipartisan resolution. 

The unique model tasked Maricopa
County with placing two separate inquiries to the voters: One asking if
they might proceed placing nearly all of the tax cash collected to
assist roads initiatives and one other asking if they might again placing the
the rest of the funds towards public transportation. 

Members of the Freedom Caucus had been
not comfortable that these two questions had been consolidated into one query
within the remaining model of the invoice, with Rep. Alexander Kolodin, of
Scottsdale, asking why such a big portion of the tax cash was going
to pay for public transportation when only one% of Arizonans use it.  

“This denies the voters of Maricopa County an actual selection,” Kolodin mentioned. “This holds highway funding hostage.” 

Kolodin and several other of his colleagues
mentioned they consider nearly all of voters, if they’d the selection, would
approve a continuation of the tax to fund freeway initiatives, however to not
fund public transportation.

Democratic Rep. Seth Blattman mentioned
that the brand new invoice was an opportunity to put money into freeways, roads and mass
transit, which finally profit all residents of the state. 

“We’re saying ‘sure’ to investing in ourselves,” Blattman mentioned. 

He added that transportation
infrastructure is among the most simple features of presidency and can
assist proceed to fulfill with Maricopa County’s fast progress. 

Senators and representatives from
each side of the aisle lamented the fast course of that introduced the invoice
to fruition, with some lawmakers solely seeing the ultimate draft of the
invoice just a few days in the past and remaining amendments being made straight earlier than they
voted on the invoice on Monday afternoon. 

Republican Rep. Justin Heap, a member
of the Freedom Caucus, mentioned that the way in which the invoice got here collectively was the
identical form of course of that lots of he and his freshman colleagues had been
hoping to cease after they ran for workplace. 

“We’re about to go a $20 billion continuation invoice that none of us have learn or perceive,” he mentioned. 

However Republican Rep. Matt Gress of
Phoenix praised the management of Home Speaker Ben Toma and Senate
President Warren Petersen, each Republicans, for placing guardrails on
the cash that will cease Maricopa County from pursuing “highway diets” and
proscribing the funds from getting used to construct new mild rail strains. 

“It’s necessary to recollect this plan
will finally require voter approval and taxpayers may have the
remaining say,” Gress mentioned. 

Leaders in each the Home and Senate
additionally balked at a few of the statements from members of the Freedom
Caucus, together with after Kolodin questioned whether or not funding for brand new mild
rail actually was slashed within the remaining model of the invoice, since they
hadn’t had a lot time to look over the ultimate model. 

“This can be a 100% Hobbs-run, Democrat
love-fest invoice,” mentioned Rep. Jacqueline Parker, a member of the Freedom
Caucus. She added that there have been “nefarious initiatives” hidden within the
invoice, however did not make clear what they’re. 

Democratic Sen. Priya Sundareshan
of Tucson added that lawmakers weren’t given a lot time to look over the invoice and
to know the modifications, including that the method “left rather a lot to be

Earlier than the Senate voted on the invoice,
Petersen addressed claims that it was an Arizona model of the Inexperienced
New Deal, saying anybody who shared that opinion is “both extremely
misinformed lacks integrity.” 

“If the voters go this, it will
be essentially the most conservative transportation plan ever handed in Arizona,”
Petersen mentioned. “Please learn the invoice.”

The invoice ensures there is no such thing as a new
mild rail across the Capitol and offers extra oversight to the
Maricopa Affiliation of Governments, the regional group which apportions
the funds going to transportation initiatives. It additionally has a provision
that takes away public transportation funding from cities who run their
transit inefficiently and it consists of no mandates for electrical automobile

The invoice handed the Home by a vote of 43-14 and later handed the Senate by a vote of 19-7.  

The Maricopa Affiliation of
Governments, which pushed for the extension of the transportation tax,
represents the 27 cities within the areas, in addition to three Native tribes,
Maricopa County and elements of Pinal County. 

Legislative session involves a detailed, lastly

“Mr. Speaker, I’ve been ready 203
days to do that,” Speaker Professional Tempore Travis Grantham mentioned earlier than the
Home started the method to sine die, the legislative time period for ending the

This 12 months’s legislative session has
been the longest in Arizona’s historical past by over a month, with the earlier
report being 173 days in 1988. This session lasted 203 days, in giant
half on account of a number of prolonged breaks for lawmakers. Earlier than wrapping up it’s work on Monday, the legislature final met in mid-June.

This session has additionally seen a report
variety of vetoes issued by Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has up to now nixed a
record-setting 143 payments, two of which lawmakers tried to override however failed. In whole, 347 payments had been despatched to the governor and of these payments, 202 have been signed into regulation. 

This session’s finish additionally comes as a
change to classes of the previous, which normally got here with state price range
negotiations that labored their manner late into the night time. Lawmakers
already handed a statewide price range in Might.

“Alright, goodbye. The Senate has
formally sine die’d,” Petersen mentioned after the Senate formally voted
on the movement to finish the session. Seven Republicans voted towards ending
the session, together with Majority Chief Sonny Borrelli, David Gowan,
Jake Hoffman, Anthony Kern, J.D. Mesnard, Wendy Rogers and Justine

After the movement to sine die was made
within the Home, the room erupted to cheers and applause. Toma took a vote
on the movement by roll name vote and a small variety of “nays” had been heard
solely to be derided with a “come on!” by lawmakers. 

After the movement handed, the Home erupted into applause.