Inside the Legislature With Sen. TJ Shope and Rep. Daniel Hernandez
Senator Shope and Representative Hernandez join the ASCPA to discuss the 2021 session, the state budget and how to navigate the legislative process.
The impacts of COVID-19 are still felt on the Arizona Legislature, with newly elected lawmakers coming into the processes in an anomalous year. The interpersonal relationships that are normally built while walking the halls of the House and Senate are made difficult in a hybrid setting. The one-vote margin majorities in both chambers lend to a more polarizing partisan divide and make reaching consensus and passing legislation more difficult.
As legislators work to come to an agreement on the state budget, Sen. Shope and Rep. Hernandez discuss their goals for this year and the process of negotiating their priorities into the final version of budget legislation. A major part of the proposed budget is a tax omnibus, including a shift to a flat income tax for Arizonans. The full impacts of the shifts are hotly debated, whether it is a reduction in revenues to cities and towns and if it will achieve its intended goal of stimulating the economy.
In terms of the legislative process, the two agree that as Arizona continues to grow the number of legislative districts needs to be reviewed for lawmakers to better represent their constituencies.