This is my fifth year in the Arizona House, and it is full of surprises.
It started last fall when a whole cadre of newly elected Libertarians joined forces with other conservatives and attempted to oust Speaker Rusty Bowers. Bowers is still in the speaker’s chair, but he doesn’t have the power he once did.
It’s very obvious that the place is being run completely differently from what happened in the last two years. In fact, I wonder if the Republicans are watching my videos. Some of the tactics that I complained vehemently about have changed. For example, keeping Ds in the dark about everything, gaming the floor schedules in order to make sure 31 R votes were in their chairs, refusing to pass bills that would have a majority of D votes, refusing to hear D bills, and gaveling down the Ds when we’re speaking were common practices in the 54th Legislature￼.
In the 55th Legislature, these things are not happening with the frequency that they did in the past. Also, the leadership teams are meeting regularly.￼ Everything is more orderly and respectful. That said, we are still hearing some really horrible bills. The voting is different with so many Libertarians who are willing to vote independent of their leadership.￼ They need the Ds to help them pass the more reasonable reasonable bills — like voting to draw down federal funds for childcare assistance or voting for criminal justice reform.