Arizona State Legislature

Last updated

Arizona State Legislature
54th Arizona Legislature
Arizona-StateSeal.svg
Type
Type
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
History
FoundedFebruary 14, 1912 (1912-02-14)
Preceded by Arizona Territorial Legislature
New session started
January 14, 2019
Leadership
Karen Fann(R)
since January 14, 2019
Eddie Farnsworth(R)
since January 14, 2019
Russell “Rusty” Bowers(R)
since January 14, 2019
Thomas “T.J.” Shope(R)
since January 14, 2019
Structure
Seats
  • 90
  • 30 Senators
  • 60 Representatives
54th Arizona Senate.svg
Senate political groups
54th Arizona House of Representatives.svg
House political groups
Elections
Senate last election
November 6, 2018
House last election
November 6, 2018
Senate next election
November 3, 2020
House next election
November 3, 2020
RedistrictingArizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Meeting place
AZ State Capitol Building 80635.JPG
Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Website
http://www.azleg.gov/
The Arizona State Capitol grounds in Phoenix. Azcap.jpg
The Arizona State Capitol grounds in Phoenix.

The Arizona State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of a lower house, the House of Representatives, and an upper house, the Senate. Composed of 90 legislators, the state legislature meets in the Capitol Complex in the state capital of Phoenix, Arizona. Created by the Arizona Constitution upon statehood in 1912, the Arizona State Legislature met biennially until 1950. Today, they meet annually.

State legislature (United States) legislature of a U.S. state

A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 25 states, the legislature is simply called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Contents

Arizona's electoral districts are different from the majority of U.S. states. The state is divided into 30 legislative districts, each of which elects one senator and two representatives. Legislators are term limited to eight consecutive years in office, but can run again after two years or run for the other house than the one in which they serve.

History

Pre-statehood

Congress formed the New Mexico Territory in 1850 consisting of the land that is now Arizona north of the Gila River, along with what is now New Mexico, parts of Colorado and Nevada. [1] In 1853, the territory expanded under the Gadsden Purchase agreement by nearly 30,000 square miles of land south of the Gila River in Arizona, forming the state’s current boundary with Mexico. [1] In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Arizona Organic Act creating the Territory of Arizona. In 1864, the First Territorial Legislature convened in Prescott, the territory’s first capital. [1] The capital moved from Prescott to Tucson and back to Prescott before being permanently established in Phoenix in 1889. [1]

New Mexico Territory territory of the United States of America, 1850-1912

The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the remaining extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of New Mexico, making it the longest-lived organized incorporated territory of the United States, lasting approximately 62 years.

Gila River river in the United States of America

The Gila River is a 649-mile (1,044 km) tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. The river drains an arid watershed of nearly 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2) that lies mainly within the U.S. but also extends into northern Sonora, Mexico. Indigenous peoples have lived along the river for at least 2,000 years, establishing complex agricultural societies before European exploration of the region began in the 16th century. However, European Americans did not permanently settle the Gila River watershed until the mid-19th century.

Colorado State of the United States of America

Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.

Early years of statehood

On June 20, 1910, President William Howard Taft signed the Enabling Act, allowing the Arizona Territory to hold a constitutional convention. Elected Arizona delegates convened in Phoenix at the territorial capitol on October 10, 1910 to draft the Arizona Constitution. [1] Although constitutional provisions for prohibition and women’s suffrage were rejected, voters added both within three years of statehood. [1] The new constitution was ratified by voters on February 9, 1911, and Arizona statehood took place on February 14, 1912, after eliminating a provision that caused an initial veto by the president. [1]

William Howard Taft 27th president of the United States

William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death.

Constitutional convention (political meeting) gathering for the purpose of writing or revising a constitution

A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. Members of a constitutional convention are often, though not necessarily or entirely, elected by popular vote. However, a wholly popularly-elected constitutional convention can also be referred to as a Constituent assembly.

Prohibition in the United States constitutional ban on alcoholic beverages

Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933.

Arizona's First Legislature had 19 state senators and 35 state representatives and convened March 18, 1912. [1] The Legislature met on a biennial basis until 1950, when a constitutional amendment provided for annual sessions. [1]

A constitutional amendment is a modification of the constitution of a polity, organization or other type of entity. Amendments are often interwoven into the relevant sections of an existing constitution, directly altering the text. Conversely, they can be appended to the constitution as supplemental additions (codicils), thus changing the frame of government without altering the existing text of the document.

A legislative session is the period of time in which a legislature, in both parliamentary and presidential systems, is convened for purpose of lawmaking, usually being one of two or more smaller divisions of the entire time between two elections. In each country the procedures for opening, ending, and in between sessions differs slightly. A session may last for the full term of the legislature or the term may consist of a number of sessions. These may be of fixed duration, such as a year, or may be used as a parliamentary procedural device. A session of the legislature is brought to an end by an official act of prorogation. In either event, the effect of prorogation is generally the clearing of all outstanding matters before the legislature.

Legislative process

The Arizona Legislature is responsible for making laws in the state of Arizona. The first step in the legislative process is bill drafting. First, legislators must submit a bill request to the legislative council staff. [2] Additionally, a legislator-elect may submit a bill request or private citizens can obtain authorization from a legislator to use the legislator's name before giving instructions to the legislative council staff. [2] The legislative council staff delivers a bill draft to the sponsor or requester and if directed, will prepare the bill for introduction. [2]

Bills undergo three or four readings during the legislative process. After the first reading, they are assigned to committee. Committees can amend measures or hold legislation and prevent it from advancing. Once committee action is completed, the bill undergoes a second hearing and a third hearing, which happens just before the floor vote on it. [1] The bill is then sent to the opposite legislative house for consideration. If approved, without amendment, it is sent to the governor. If there is amendment, however, the Senate may either reconsider the bill with amendments or ask for the establishment of a conference committee to work out differences in the versions of the bill passed by each chamber. Once a piece of legislation approved by both houses is forwarded to the governor, it may either be signed or vetoed. If it is signed, it takes effect on the effective date of the legislation. If it is vetoed, lawmakers may override the veto with a vote by a three-fifths majority in both chambers. [1]

Alternatively, instead of presenting the measure to the Governor, the Legislature may order that it be submitted to the people. [3] If the measure is approved by the people, the Governor has no power to veto it, [4] and the Legislature may not repeal it, [5] and may not amend it unless the amending legislation furthers the purposes of such measure and at least three-fourths of the members of each house of the Legislature, by a roll call of ayes and nays, vote to amend such measure. [6]

Membership

Districting

There are 30 legislative districts in Arizona, each of which is a multi-member constituency. Each district elects a state senator and two state representatives for a two-year term. The combining of upper and lower house districts into a single constituency is found in only seven U.S. state legislatures: Arizona, Idaho, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington.

Term limits

Under article 4, part 2, section 21 of the Constitution of Arizona, members of the Arizona Legislature serve two-year terms, and legislators are subject to term limits. [7] With regard to term limits, members may only serve four consecutive terms (or eight years) in each house; however, once serving the limit, former members are re-eligible for election after a 2-year respite. [7] Members who are term-limited in one house frequently seek election to other positions within the state.

Party composition and elections

Party division of the legislature since the 1996 Elections [8] :

YearSenateHouse
1997-199818 R, 12 D38 R, 22 D
1999-200016 R, 14 D40 R, 20 D
2001-200215 R, 15 D36 R, 24 D
2003-200417 R, 13 D39 R, 21 D
2005-200619 R, 11 D38 R, 22 D
2007-200816 R, 14 D33 R, 27 D
2009-201018 R, 12 D35 R, 25 D
2011-201221 R, 9 D40 R, 20 D
2013-201417 R, 13 D38 R, 22 D
2015-Nov. 201517 R, 13 D36 R, 24 D
Dec. 2015-201618 R, 12 D [9] 36 R, 24 D
2017-201817 R, 13 D35 R, 25 D
2019-202017 R, 13 D31 R, 29 D

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Legislative Manual" (PDF). Arizona Legislative Council. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "Legislative Council". Azleg.gov. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  3. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(15).
  4. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(6)(A).
  5. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(6)(B).
  6. Ariz. Const. Art. IV, Part I, § 1(6)(C).
  7. 1 2 "Constitution of Arizona, art. 4, pt. 2, § 21". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  8. "State of Arizona Official Canvass". Arizona Secretary of State. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  9. "Arizona lawmaker Carlyle Begay switches political party". AZCentral. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  10. Federal Writers’ Project (1956). "Chronology". Arizona, the Grand Canyon State. American Guide Series (4th ed.). New York: Hastings House.