After a long and uniquely acrimonious session, the Arizona Legislature concluded its duties early in the morning on June 25, 2022. This session was one to be remembered (or forgotten, depending on how you see it), as the state faced a once-in-a-generation surplus of more than $5 billion that needed to be incorporated into a budget.

See the PowerPoint 

A couple of weeks ago I covered the details of what was in the final budget that was passed and signed. Legislature Passes a Bipartisan Budget for 1st Time in 14 Years: Here’s A Summary Top Line Health & Human Service Line Items

But what about all the other bills?

They’re sometimes forgotten in all the budget drama. Just like every year, there were good things, bad things and missed opportunities. This PowerPoint summarizes the details and I encourage you to go through the PPT. Here are the headline items:


  • Public health emergency authority is greatly reduced for future governors and health department directors (by SB009)
  • Counties and schools lost the ability to implement routine communicable disease control measures (even if not an emergency)
  • Cities lost routine disease control authority (even if not an emergency)
  • ADHS can’t add the COVID vaccine to the list for school attendance
  • Counties can’t require mitigation in churches during a public health emergency
  • Cities can’t require masking on city property – ever

Good Things

  • SB1272 AHCCCS; postpartum care; eligibility: Eligibility (SOBRA) is expanded for up to one-year post-partum (to 150% of federal poverty)
  • HB 2157 – Appropriates $1.44B in Medicaid in FY 2022 to implement the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) home & community-based services for persons with developmental disabilities. AHCCCS Plan Here
  • HB2144 Health insurance coverage; biomarker testing– Requires health insurers to cover biomarker testing as part of patients’ treatment plans
  • HB2113 Developmental disabilities; Down syndrome – People with Down Syndrome are now automatically medically eligible for AHCCCS & DD services
  • SB1162 – Opioid prescriptions; intractable pain; exceptions –Expands the list of exemptions from the 90-morphine milligram equivalent (MME) limit on opioids prescriptions to include patients experiencing chronic intractable pain or receiving opioid treatment for perioperative care following an inpatient surgical procedure.

Featured Disappointment

SB1716 Arizona State Hospital; Governing Board (Failed)

  • Would have created a badly needed independent ASH Governing Board and transfer operational control of the Arizona State Hospital from ADHS to the new Board on January 1, 2023.
  • Bill was badly needed because the ADHS both runs and regulates the Arizona State Hospital. There are serious concerns about the lack of regulatory rigor by the ADHS Licensing division, particularly during the Director Christ-era.
See the PowerPoint