The Arizona LegislatureOn This Page
How to Make Your Voice Heard
With new waves of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation swirling around the state capitol each year, most of it cut-and-paste copies of bills from other states or fill-in-the-blank templates from homophobic and transphobic special interest groups, it certainly doesn't feel like the Arizona legislature is listening to Arizona's communities. But you can make your voice heard. Every year, victories for LGBTQ+ rights are won at the capitol through public testimony, good-faith conversation, and intentional relationship building.
Request to Speak on azleg.gov
You don't have to go to the capitol to keep up to date with what's going on in the legislature. Bills, amendments, and agendas for committee meetings are all available on azleg.gov, where you can watch livestreams and archived videos of the legislative process. With a tool called Request to Speak, you can sign up to give testimony on the issues you care about in committee. Last year, the legislature allowed remote testimony, but in 2022 this is no longer an option. If you need help activating your account, preparing your testimony, or getting to the capitol, let us know.
Tips for Testimony
- Be prepared. Understand how legislation is designed to shape conversation, and try to reframe the issue around your own principles. Especially when it comes to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, you don't need to accept the conversation on their terms. Research their claims, investigate their priorities, and center the real people and communities the bills would affect.
- Be prepared to adjust. When you're in a committee meeting, lawmakers won't always ask the same questions or use the same words you would to discuss an issue or a piece of legislation. It's important to pay attention to how they think things through, and to have the conversation that's happening in the room. Not everyone is going to listen, but people can and do change when we can establish a genuine dialogue.
- Follow procedure. It's common for testimony to be limited to just two minutes, so it can be helpful to practice with a stopwatch. When you begin your testimony or answer a question, always speak "through the chair," addressing the chair of the committee first, and only then the other members (even when you're answering a question from someone other than the chair).
Meet Your Legislators
Arizona is drawn into 30 legislative districts, each of which elects a senator and two representatives. With redistricting and a recent wave of resignations, the waters are a little muddier, but with the search tool at the end of this page, you can find the three legislators who represent you specifically at the capitol. By and large, most legislators really do want to hear from their constituents; you can call or email them, or even set a meeting. It can be hard to get on their calendars, and intimidating to have a face-to-face conversation with an elected official, so we're here to help. Contact Equality Arizona, and we'll help you to schedule and prepare for a meeting with your legislators.
How the Legislature Runs
Dates and Deadlines
- January 31 | last day for the introduction of bills in the Arizona Senate.
- February 7 | last day for the introduction of bills in the Arizona House.
- February 18 | last day to hear bills in their chamber of origin. If a Senate bill doesn't make it to a committee meeting in the Senate by this date, or a House bill to a committee meeting in the House, that bill is dead.
- Crossover Week. After the February 18 committee deadline, passing and transmitting bills to the next chamber is prioritized during the following week.
- March 25 | last day to consider House bills in the Senate, or Senate bills in the House. After passing one chamber of the legislature and being transmitted to the other, if a bill doesn't receive a committee meeting by this date, it's dead.
- April 15 | last day to consider bills in conference committees. After passing through both chambers, the version of a House bill that passes the Senate might not be the same the one that passed the House. Conference committees are formed to resolve the differences between both versions.
- April 19 | Day 100. The Saturday after the 100th day of the session, the legislative session is set to adjourn sine die. However, this can be extended by a majority vote.
- Sine Die. This Latin phrase is used to mark the end of the session, effectively meaning that there are no more days left. If the session runs its prescribed course this year, this will fall on April 23. Last year, the session did not adjourn sine die until June 30.
What It's All About
From the start of the session to sine die, lawmakers introduce, debate, amend, and vote on updates to the Arizona Revised Statutes. From the first draft to the Governor's desk (or the ballot), there are countless ways for a bill to die or be brought back to life. Bills aren't always written with the expectation that they'll become law, or even that they'll get a committee assignment. It's a complicated and high-stakes conversation about Arizona's needs, values, and direction as a state. That conversation needs your voice.