Hello all,


The Legislature has taken an atypical departure from most years with a mid-session "spring break". A contributing factor has been the departure of two lawmakers. Representative Liz Harris was expelled from her seat, and until her replacement is appointed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the majority will be one vote shy of the 31 needed to pass legislation on purely party lines. Also, Senator Raquel Teran resigned to run for Congress. She was the Senate Minority Leader and her departure temporarily shakes up the minority leadership team at the Capitol. The Legislature will convene again mid-week but the appointment of Rep. Harris' replacement will likely take longer.


However, the break and lack of a 31st vote for the majority will not be a major barrier for advancing the budget negotiations, and by all accounts, talks between legislative leaders and the Governor have been amicable, leading many to believe that the budget could be resolved more quickly than originally thought. This is the first session in 14 years with split partisan control of the Capitol and that tends to complicate consensus making, typically putting the budget approval process on a late June trajectory, just before the start of the next state fiscal year on July 1st. However, the advancement of discussions to date leads many to believe that sooner is possible.


The Legislature's budget staff has just updated their revenue and expenditure projections and estimates that lawmakers will have roughly $2.5B in additional revenue to work with when setting next year's budget. They are recommending setting aside $100M as a cushion for the following year which still leaves a substantial level of revenue for the current budget negotiations.


As evidenced by the progress and level of support of HB2543, the RTAC priority project legislation, and other bills appropriating funding for infrastructure projects, transportation is clearly a bipartisan priority for the use of the available one-time revenues. It will be incumbent upon legislators to support the projects in their districts for their ultimate inclusion in the budget and if you have an interest in such a project, now is the time to push your legislators to fight for their inclusion in the budget.


An updated transportation bill matrix and HB2543 project list are attached.


RURAL TRANSPORTATION SUMMIT REGISTRATION OPENS:


This year's summit will take place in Yuma on October 18-19 at the Hilton Garden Inn Yuma Pivot Point Hotel and Conference Center. We are currently developing an exciting agenda and hope that you can join us in Yuma! Registration, lodging and other Summit information can be found at www.azrts.org


2023 RTAC Transportation Bill Matrix April 21


RTAC Transportation Priority Project Legislation Project List (As Amended)


24th Annual Rural Transportation Summit Invite

Sincerely,
Kevin Adam,
Legislative Liaison
Rural Transportation Advocacy Council
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