After 116 days in Phoenix, the Arizona Legislature wrapped up its work for the year and headed home to campaign for reelection.
The session left many new bills on the books. Gov. Jan Brewer has already signed more than 150 bills into law, with more awaiting her decision in the days to come.
Democratic state Rep. Matt Heinz, Republican state Rep. Ted Vogt, Republican state Sen. Al Melvin and Democratic state Sen. Paula Aboud join Arizona Illustrated to discuss the legislative session and the fruits of lawmakers' labors this year.
The bill that received the most time and discussion, they agreed, was the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Democrats say the budget that emerged from all the discussion and compromise puts money in the wrong places and saves too much for a rainy day instead of helping programs hurt by cuts in recent years. Republicans counter that the budget is responsible and is balanced without the use of accounting tricks.
Democrats are also chiding their Republican colleagues for passing a number of proposals dealing with women’s health. The legislative minority party says the bills are part of a national GOP “war on women.”
Republicans deny that, saying that they want to protect unborn children.
Every member of the Legislature is up for reelection this year due to the redistricting process, which redrew the state’s political maps.