- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs said he wants to end the 2015 legislative session by Thursday - a target that would make it the shortest session in nearly 50 years.

Biggs said Wednesday he believes the Senate and House can finish their work on the remaining bills and adjourn by that time.

The resulting 81-day session would be the quickest since the 1968 Legislature adjourned in just 74 days, according to Arizona Capitol Times records.

Biggs says there aren’t that many pieces of legislation remaining to merit extending the session beyond Easter weekend.

“We are moving rapidly,” Biggs said. “Both sides are committed to wrapping it up as soon as possible.”

House Speaker David Gowan didn’t commit to an adjournment date, saying only “soon.”

The remaining bills include a series of election overhaul and school voucher measures along with Gov. Doug Ducey’s request for a new inspector general who would report directly to him and be tasked with investigating waste, fraud and abuse of public resources.

Ducey said in January that he wanted the post but didn’t reveal specifics until two weeks ago. The bill has been hung up over disagreements about the scope and power of the office.

Ducey initially wanted to appoint the person with no Senate confirmation and be solely responsible for the actions of the office.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich would be bypassed in the process, drawing criticism from him, and it could keep much of its work secret.

The governor’s office has been working on language to address those concerns and it could be unveiled Wednesday. The bill must pass both the Senate and House before adjournment or it will have to wait until next year.

The Legislature passed a $9.1 billion budget bill on March 7 and it was signed days later by Ducey. Biggs said it was time for lawmakers to go home.

“I think Mark Twain once said no one’s safe while the Legislature’s in session - I do think there are some meritorious aspects to that,” Biggs said. “We’ve done the people’s business, we’ve had a chance to vet the bills, let’s get done and get out of here.”


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