• Arizona House Democrats

PRESS RELEASE: House Dems statement on Ending 2020 session and expected special session on COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2020

House Democrats statement on Ending 2020 session and expected special session on COVID-19 Relief

PHOENIX – Democratic Leader Representative Charlene Fernandez released the following statement after the Arizona House of Representatives voted to adjourn sine die for the 2020 legislative session Thursday evening. The Senate has already voted to adjourn but is expected to return to officially close the session, and Gov. Ducey is expected to call a special session to further address COVID-19 relief soon.

“Our most important goal as a caucus is to pass legislation that will help hard-working Arizona residents and small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The best place to do that is in a special session focused on the crisis, not here pretending the crisis has passed and that business as usual is possible right now.

Our members have been working overtime, meeting with stakeholders and constituents, developing legislation for a special session to help people and small businesses weather the economic fallout of this pandemic. That is where our focus should be. And hopefully that is where it will now go.

Our caucus is willing to take the risks of making policy in this new normal, with social distancing and extreme precautions. But the crisis has not passed. so that policy must be focused on addressing this ongoing pandemic that has infected 15,315 Arizonans, that has taken the lives of 763 people, and that is still having a devastating impact on the Navajo Nation.

This pandemic has revealed deep, systemic problems in our unemployment insurance program. Over the past three days since coming back into session, our efforts to bring those issues forward in this session were shut down in one of the most undemocratic processes I've ever witnessed. Hopefully we can all do better in a special session.

Our caucus will take those risks to help Arizona families stay healthy, keep food on the table and a roof overhead. We will take those risks to protect our healthcare workers and essential workers from COVID-19 and the stress of their heroic efforts. And as businesses and schools re-open, we will work on policies to support students, teachers, customers, workers, and business owners who move forward responsibly and follow best practices.”

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