by Jim Nintzel
We'll be breaking down the takeaways from the legislative session over the next few days, but Mary Jo Pitzl, Ronald J. Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez of the Arizona Republic give a wrap-up of the session here:
The Arizona Legislature crept to a middle-of-the-night close to its 2015 session, after a drawn-out final workday sapped the patience of lawmakers, leading to the failure of a pair of key election bills.
The House adjourned sine die at 3:34 a.m. Friday.
But long before the House wrapped up its business, most of the Senate had gone home in exasperation and exhaustion. The senators' departure made moot the House's work on a key GOP bill to severely limit who could return a voter's ballot. The measure needed a final Senate vote.
The demise of Senate 1339 was followed by the failure of a proposed ballot measure that would have asked voters whether to end the state's public campaign-finance system and direct the money that funds the Citizens' Clean Elections Commission to K-12 education instead. The measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1001, fell two votes shy of the needed number.
"That was a bumpy end to the session, wasn't it?" House Republican Chief of Staff Tami Stowe said to staffers.
The final hours dragged on, but overall the session set a modern speed record: At 82 days, it was the shortest session in five decades.