2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: Arizona

Written by Dylan Hughes

The Arizona Legislature adjourned the Second Regular Session of the 56th Legislature on June 15. This session saw 1,798 bills introduced with 332 sent to Governor Katie Hobbs (D). The governor signed 259 measures and vetoed 73.

By vetoes alone, 2024 was less contentious than 2023 when Hobbs vetoed a record-breaking 143 bills. This session also saw fewer fights over executive appointments and personnel, though a recent court decision leaves just over a dozen of last year’s appointments in limbo. The legislature saw a return to normalcy in session length when it ended well before the state’s fiscal year-end unlike last year’s adjournment on July 31, the latest adjournment in Arizona history.

Here’s what you may have missed:


The final hours on the floor saw a rush of activity before passage of the state’s $16.1 billion budget. The budget reflected a compromise between Hobbs and legislative leadership with moderates in both parties voting for the budget over dissent from progressives and conservatives. While many legislators were unhappy, few expressed their displeasure quite as much as Attorney General Kris Mayes (D). After the legislature and Hobbs elected to use $115 million in opioid settlements to balance the budget and plug a funding gap in the Department of Corrections, Mayes sued while arguing the money had been earmarked elsewhere. Ultimately, a state judge agreed with Hobbs and the legislature that the funds could be appropriated through the regular budget.

Some line-item highlights include $17,380,000 for Early literacy, $1,570,700 for the organized retail theft task force, $229,689,800 for KidsCare services, $8,544,224,600 for Traditional Medicaid Services, and $31,489,500 for New School Facilities.

Abortion Rights

While process debates were less heated this year, social policy was still heavily debated. The month of April saw legislative action slow to a halt as the House Democratic Caucus initiated several attempts to repeal the state’s 1864 abortion ban. This has been a policy priority for Governor Hobbs since the overturn of the Roe v. Wade decision and was highlighted in her 2024 State of the State address. Ultimately, the state house passed the measure with 3 Republicans joining all Democrats before the state senate passed it with 2 Republicans joining all Democrats. Hobbs signed the measure on May 2, just a day after its passage in the senate.

What’s Next

The abortion debate in Arizona may not be over. An abortion rights citizen’s initiative may make it onto the ballot for November. The filing deadline was July 3, and signatures are being reviewed. During the past legislative session, the legislature put 11 referenda on the ballot. These referenda include an immigration measure that is considered the spiritual successor to 2010’s SB 1070, the state’s controversial immigration law that was struck down in part by the Supreme Court. Other referenda topics consider the initiative process itself, judge and justice terms, and wages for tipped workers.

Those ballot measures, all 60 state house seats, 30 state senate seats, and a U.S. Senate seat are on the ballot in Arizona on November 5. The primary for partisan offices is on July 30. For updates on future legislative, regulatory, and election coverage in Arizona, please reach out to Dylan Hughes at djh@stateside.com.