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AZ legislature begins 55th session with a Republican majority

News 11's Cody Lee speaks with two prominent figures in the Arizona House of Representatives

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Arizona legislature is scheduled to begin tomorrow, starting with Governor Doug Ducey's 2021 State of the State address. The address will take place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There is a Republican majority in both the house and senate for the 55th legislative session.

Republicans won 16 to 14 in the senate and 31 to 29 in the house,

The house, senate, and governorship are all controlled by the red party.

As representatives and senators make their way to the capitol, things will look different inside the chambers.

Plexiglass was added in between seats and members are not allowed to bring guests with them.

Masks will only be required when members are at the podium speaking, if they are sitting, they can take it off.

Earlier today, News 11's Cody Lee spoke with Republican Representative Tim Dunn and Democratic Representative Charlene Fernandez.

Both of their agendas look very different.

Rep. Fernandez says she’s going to work on protecting proposition 208.

“Now, always always always in the forefront is public education so that's a given. I will do everything I can working with my colleagues the other 28 of them to protect prop 208 to make sure that it's not dismantled in any way. The voters spoke, they want 208 to be implemented and I want to make sure that we see that through,” Rep. Fernandez explained.

Prop 208 passed during the general election in November 2020 to increase funding for public education.

This law imposes a 3.5% surcharge on taxable annual income over $250,000 for singles or $500,000 for married couples.

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Dunn would like to see more assistance go to small businesses.

According to the representative, many businesses received a letter revealing an increase in unemployment insurance.

“A lot of small businesses got a letter in the mail last week saying their unemployment insurance is going from 12% to 20%. That was because of the covid so were trying to use some cares dollars to go back and backfill that because that's a huge hit to small business - 8%. So I've already talked to the governor's office and appropriations chair about that,” Rep. Dunn said.

Arizona News / State & Regional News / Top Stories
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Cody Lee


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