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Az legislative session on hold indefinitely, GOP leader says

The top Republican in the Arizona House of Representatives has told elected officials and staff in his chamber that they won't be returning to work on April 13 as planned because of the COVID-19 crisis.

In an email shortly after noon Tuesday, House Speaker Rusty Bowers wrote that "it has become clear that it is not yet safe to reconvene the Legislature" to finish the annual legislative session, which was suspended March 23.

Bowers wrote that he and his counterpart in the state Senate, President Karen Fann, will reassess things at the end of April. If and when they decide to reconvene the legislature, Bowers wrote that "sufficient notification" will be given to lawmakers so they can plan their return.

In the meantime, he implored legislators to watch live-streamed budget updates on April 9 from the legislature's Finance Advisory Committee, a panel of economists and budget analysts that provides regular updates on the state's budget situation. Bowers noted that updated forecasts from legislative budget analysts "will give us our first look at how COVID-19 has impacted our state finances and how much work we have ahead of us."

Bowers also wished his colleagues good health.

"I hope that you and your families are remaining safe and healthy and you are doing all you can to lessen the impact of COVID-19. Thank you all for your service to our state," he wrote.

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.

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