AZ Legislature Flash Bulletin – Week of 2/7/21
Once you read these bills, you will sign up for RTS! If you don’t, you are not safeguarding your rights as a citizen of Arizona. If you used Request to Speak last year, your account should still exist. Use it with last year’s password if you still have it, or click “Forgot your password?”
To get a “Request to Speak” (RTS) account at the Legislature, contact Civic Engagement Beyond Voting HERE requesting an account. They will create an account at the Capitol and notify you when ready. There is no “speaking” necessary. You use the system from home, online, quickly and efficiently.
Options for RTS training include this Education Video (5 min.) Link HERE. This moves fast, and you don’t need some of the info presented, but it’s useful in part. It’s easy to “rewind” and once you are registered for RTS that website also has a user guide.
We are in Legislative District One. If you are not signed up for RTS, please:
Phone: RTS is definitely the way to go, but if you would prefer to call, please do so. Calling is quick and not at all scary. When you phone in a concern, comment or request, ask to speak to an assistant. Your message will be relayed to the legislator. You may request a call back if you wish.
Email: emails are read by both an assistant and the legislator..
Load your three legislators’ phone numbers into your Contacts on your phone for future reference.
The following information was compiled by Stand Indivisible AZ, Scottsdale. Please read, get on your RTS account and take action. For LD1 specific updates, subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join one of the Prescott RTS groups and they will get you started in making your voice heard. Abby Brillhas a group action onMonday mornings at 8:30 am(LINK)and Mavis Brauer has a group on Monday afternoons at 1pm. Contact email@example.com. Stand Indivisible AZ also has an RTS Cafe onMonday morning at 9am.ClickHEREto register. For info on the Save Our Schools RTS bi-weekly social hour, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
AZ LEGISLATURE – 2021
55th Legislature – First Regular Session – Week 5
WEEK OF February 8, 2021
BAD BILLS: WE HAVE SEEN NOTHING LIKE THIS. The volume, intensity and breadth of misanthropic legislation in this Session is extraordinary. In the election of 2020, moderation failed to wrest control of the Legislature from an angry, reactionary worldview, which clings to power by one vote in the House and one vote in the Senate. Fair enough – elections matter.
But following the turmoil of national politics, conservatism itself – think McCain, Flake and Ducey – has been defeated by a reckless, extremist politics of division and oppression – think Ward, Finchem, Townsend, Bolick and Ugenti-Rita. The narrow legislative majority – seeing its eventual demise in our demographics, and commanded by a reckless extremist party leadership – is assaulting at an unparalleled rate our Democracy, Women’s Rights, Public Education, the Environment, and more, inseparable from flagrant moves to concentrate raw power in the powerful few – and force a dystopian future on all. We must resist as never before.
GOOD BILLS: “LOOK FOR THE HELPERS.” As Fred Rogers’ mother Nancy advised, “there are always people helping.” Interspersed among the bad bills below, you will find some seeking to make life better for Arizonans. And may you be one of the people helping.
FAMILIAR WITH THIS RESOURCE SECTION? – SKIP RIGHT TO THE RTS DAILY LIST BELOW TO TAKE ACTION
DO YOUR “REQUEST TO SPEAK” AND/OR CALLS IN HEARING DAY ORDER
Please do your RTS as soon as you can, and at least one day in advance of the Hearing day. Our report below is in date order.
PRESSED FOR TIME? Do the RTS in chunks. But stay with it, stay ahead of the Hearing date, and do more as soon as you can. Each day has critical and important bills.
AFTER RTS, GO DEEPER ON CONTEXT AND THE BILLS – For excellent analysis, first see the Legislature Weekly Update by Melinda Iyer/CEBV HERE
FOR EXPERT DEPTH ON EDUCATION BILLS, see Save Our Schools AZ Weekly Report HERE
FOR EXPERT DEPTH ON ENVIRONMENTAL BILLS, see the latest Sierra Club AZ Report HERE“REQUEST TO SPEAK” RECOMMENDATIONS IN ORDER OF HEARING DATE
As Melinda Iyer says: “The Legislature is working hard to run our state into the ground, and we can’t let them. Let’s get to it!”
MONDAY FEB. 8 HEARINGS – ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY
“Lawmakers in statehouses nationwide have already filed triple the number of voting rights attacks they did last year, using wildly inflated allegations of voter fraud to justify making it harder to vote.” New York Times, 1/30/2021.
SB1106. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE GOVERNMENT COMM. Attack on voter registration. Makes anyone a felon who registers to vote without the intent to remain in the state.
SB1497. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE GOVERNMENT COMM. Attack on voter Initiatives. Requires a notice on ballot pamphlet descriptions of Initiatives and Referenda that may frighten people away from voting for Initiatives or Referenda because it implies such laws, once approved by voters, could never be undone. (They can be undone by the voters themselves or a 3/4 majority of legislators.)
SB1531. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE GOVERNMENT COMM. Attack on voter Initiatives. Invalidates petition signatures unless it is shown that the Initiative description was either read to the signers, or they took time to read it.
SCR1005. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE GOVERNMENT COMM. Party power grab. Would increase the number of districts in the House of Representatives from 60 to 90, and have each district cover one-third the territory they currently occupy. Would likely perpetuate current majority party control; for example, its current one vote margin could become three. And it would increase provincialism, as each member would represent a much smaller segment of the population. And cost many millions for new Capitol area buildings.
SCR1034. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE GOVERNMENT COMM. Attack on voter Initiatives. Allows a bare majority of legislators to supersede, or amend in any way, laws created by the voters (Initiatives) that the AZ or U.S. Supreme Court finds to have unlawful language.
SB1104. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE GOVERNMENT COMM. Requires political campaigns to itemize every single contribution from someone outside AZ, complete with occupation and employer. Would hit hardest at grassroots groups like Actblue, which collects small-dollar contributions and distributes them for state legislative races. Utter hypocrisy, from the party that brought us unlimited, anonymous dark money contributions.
SB1127. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE TRANSPORTATION & TECHNOLOGY COMM. Eviscerates speeding laws. 75 mph in a 65 mph zone would be fined $15, with no points. Cuts state revenues, encourages speeding.
SB1009. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. SENATE TRANSPORTATION & TECHNOLOGY COMM. Requires all new state motor vehicles for model year 2022 and later to be electric vehicles.
HB2461. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE MILITARY AFFAIRS & PUBLIC SAFETY COMM. Appropriates $1.5M for body cameras for Department of Public Safety personnel.
HB2540. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES COMM. Includes Spina Bifida, a birth defect of the neural tube causing severe physical developmental disability, in the rights guaranteed by the U.S. and AZ Constitutions on the basis of disability.
2:00 p.m. MONDAY: SENATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE HEARING – LIVESTREAM Public may livestream HERE
TIP: HOW TO LIVE-STREAM A COMMITTEE HEARING: Go to www.azleg.gov, click on “Committees” on the first page, click “Standing Committees” in the drop-down list, select the committee on the Committee Overview page, find the Agenda Date in the Committee Agendas section at the bottom, click on “PDF Document”, find the Livestream link on the agenda page, and click the link.
TUESDAY FEB. 9 HEARINGS – EDUCATION; ENVIRONMENT
SB1118. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMM. “Strike Everything Amendment”: Title is “technical correction; heritage fund” but the bill actually would massively expand the number of children eligible and the amount of education vouchers to pay for private and religious schools or home schooling with our tax money, taking those tax proceeds away from public schools.
SCR1001. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMM. Would end the Governor’s declaration of emergency for Covid-19, leading to a patchwork of non-regulation and more stringent regulation by county in our coronavirus hotspot.
SB1333. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMM. Any cities and towns that reduce their police budgets to redirect funds to crime prevention programs (mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, police training) would have their state funding cut. Effectively prohibits such investments. Pre-emption by an autocratic state government hostile to local government.
SB1387. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMM. Continues supplemental child care assistance for parents who go back to school to move up from their low-skills jobs.
HB2737. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES, ENERGY & WATER COMM. One of several attacks by politicians on the independence of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), the elected branch of government charged with protecting citizen ratepayers and the environment against the monopoly utilities and improving use of renewable energy. Allows any legislator to order the AZ Attorney General to investigate the ACC and would withhold 10% of the ACC budget if the AZ Supreme Court finds the ACC is not enforcing laws properly.**
Jane Doyle, PI’s Treasurer spoke with Commissioner Anna Tovar’s policy manager last week about this bill. Her extensive write up of their conversation isHERE.
HB2691. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES, ENERGY & WATER COMM. This bill will have a strike-everything amendment on it relating to a water quality program, unacceptable as it leaves nearly all ephemeral waters unprotected.
HB2063. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE EDUCATION COMM. Eliminates teacher discretion and forces them to fail students who do not meet course requirements.
HB2151. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE EDUCATION COMM. Would retain teachers in a teacher shortage by giving certificated teachers 75% off higher education fees at Arizona universities.
SB1400. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE EDUCATION COMM. Undercuts education by allowing students to get academic credit for “out of school experiences” such as sports, clubs, music lessons, and summer employment.
SB1403. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE EDUCATION COMM. Delays development of a dyslexia screening and teacher training program and provides no funding for the program when a significant portion of students suffer some degree of dyslexia.
SB1683. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE EDUCATION COMM. Gives $10M per year in tax money as a transportation allowance to parents to spend on private buses to send their children to charter schools, with no verification of financial need, instead of using those funds to repair and replace public school buses.
SB1685. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE EDUCATION COMM. Would essentially end neighborhood public schools by banning attendance boundaries, enabling white flight, fast-tracking segregation, and removing a community anchor. Forces the Board of Education to increase public awareness of school choice options, including private school vouchers. Would make Betsy DeVos proud.
SCR1020. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. SENATE EDUCATION COMM. If voters approve, the bill would repeal the existing 20-year old English only education law, which has resulted in a 25% lower graduation rate than average, and reinstate bilingual education for 80,000 students.
SB1246. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE EDUCATION COMM. Imposes a 2-term limit on school board members – an unpaid, nonpartisan position requiring real expertise and extensive on-the-job training. Would hurt education.
2:00 p.m. TUESDAY: SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE HEARING – LIVESTREAM Public may livestream HERE.
WEDNESDAY FEB. 10 HEARINGS – MORE ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY; WOMEN’S HEALTH
SCR1024. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. SENATE FINANCE COMM. Attack on initiatives. Would amend the AZ Constitution to require any Initiative passed by the voters that raises taxes (or reduces tax credits) to be approved by 2/3 of those voting, rather than the current 50% plus one vote. 2/3 is virtually a barrier to almost any measure. Legislators have given away $14 Billion in annual tax cuts and credits, more than the state budget.
HB2111. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Declares Arizona law superior to United States law – by attempting to void any U.S. law that “violates the second amendment.” Could be used to justify ignoring a law passed by the U.S. Congress to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, domestic terrorists, etc., for example. Similar to SB1328 below.
HB2308. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Would make it very much more difficult to recall corrupt members of the AZ Legislature. Requires “strict compliance” of recall petitions in which a single technical violation can disqualify an entire petition campaign. In contrast, these politicians only require “substantial compliance” for their own nominating petitions.
HB2358. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Forces County recorders to purge otherwise eligible registered voters who have moved from one AZ county to another, using the postal service’s Change of Address system.
HB2373. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Invalidates all voter registration forms lacking a unique identifier by any campaign worker who requests 10 or more registration forms.
HB2378. SUPPORT. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. A rare good bill from this Committee. Would allow ranked-choice voting in presidential preference primaries with more than two candidates, allowing people to vote for candidates in order of preference. Should help to reduce polarization and increase representation of the under-represented.
HB2551. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. OMG. Would allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring guns into libraries, community centers, public pools, state museums, the DMV, government offices, block parties, marches and street fairs — even if asked to turn over their firearms for storage. No training is required for such a permit. Introduced previously four times, vetoed by Gov. Brewer in 2014.
HB2569. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Prohibits cities, counties and school districts from accepting private grant money to prepare for local elections struggling to meet the extraordinary costs of holding an election in a pandemic.
HB2570. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Bans state agencies, cities and counties from revoking the license of a business that violates an Executive Order unless they can prove the business actually caused the transmission of disease, e.g., COVID. Anti-public health measure.
HB2725. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Mandates that state documents identify gender as either male or female. Science recognizes nonbinary genders, and government should not interfere with personal choice of so intimate an identification.
HB2792. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Makes it a class 5 felony (not possible to plead down to a misdemeanor) to send you a ballot if you didn’t explicitly request one. Likely a punitive response to the Maricopa County Recorder’s decision to mail ballots for the 2020 Presidential Preference election to those not on the Early Voting List.
HB2793. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Bans public employees from registering someone to vote unless they specifically ask.
HCR2016. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMM. Attack on Initiatives and Referenda. Would change the Constitution to require that any ballot measure get 60% of the vote to pass. Certainly not the original intent of the founders of Arizona in 1912. This would have prevented the Voter Protection Act, the minimum wage increase (opposed by the Chamber of Commerce), Invest in Ed, and medical marijuana from passing.
SB1362. OPPOSE. 8:30 a.m. SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES COMM. Attack on women’s health. Allows all medical professionals to refuse to dispense emergency contraception – which of course prevents but does not terminate pregnancies. Opens the door to a possible ban on contraception. Adds medical students to the list of providers who can refuse to assist with abortion-related services on a verbal religious or moral basis. No protections for patients, not even in an emergency, raising the specter of forced birth and even death in childbirth in religious hospitals.
HB2648. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. HOUSE JUDICIARY COMM. Would make it discrimination to alter the tax-exempt treatment of a religious organization. Since Bob Jones University lost its exemption for racism in 1983, some religious organizations are now worried about losing their exemptions due to employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, which are now protected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
HB2404. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMM. Allocates $3M in tax money to a statewide anti-abortion campaign and a “crisis pregnancy center” legally barred from providing prospective parents with all their options. Part of a coordinated attack on women’s rights. A mirror bill in the Senate, SB1251, has already passed its committee.
HB2485. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMM. Contains some good provisions for civil order, but has fatally flawed provisions that could be used against peaceful protest. For example, makes obstructing a public road a class 6 felony earning jail time without possibility of early probation and denial of state employment, tuition, welfare benefits and public housing.
SB1224. OPPOSE. 2:00 p.m. SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES, ENERGY & WATER COMM. Imposes limits and impediments on people seeking to sue CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) for odor, noise and other nuisances to neighboring properties.
HB2436. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMM. Ties gasoline taxes to inflation starting in 2022. Gas taxes have not risen since 1991, and inflation has eaten away at state revenues. Legislators also have “swept” monies meant for road repairs to other state needs, leaving infrastructure crumbling. A modest step toward improving infrastructure funding.
HB2437. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMM. Would raise registration fees for non-gasoline vehicles from $41 per year to $111 in 2022, rising to $166 in 2024. Would fund road repairs. Proponents consider it paying a fair share for use of the roads.
HB2589. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMM. Requires children under 2 years, under 40” tall, and under 40 pounds to ride in a rear-facing seat in keeping with research on child car safety.
HB2765. SUPPORT. 2:00 p.m. HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM COMM. Requires law-enforcement cases that involve deadly force to be investigated by a different agency than the one involved, helping to ensure accountability and foil corruption.
9:00 a.m. WEDNESDAY: HOUSE GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS COMMITTEE HEARING – LIVESTREAM
Public may livestream HERE.
THURSDAY FEB. 11 HEARINGS – WOMEN’S RIGHTS; PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY
SB1328. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. SENATE JUDICIARY COMM. Declares Arizona law superior to United States law – by attempting to void any U.S. law that “violates the second amendment,” and prohibits any city or town from complying.
SB1377. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. SENATE JUDICIARY COMM. Strips legal protections from workers, students, parishioners, etc. by insulating employers, schools, churches, etc. from legal liability for violating their safety against COVID. Requires individuals to produce “clear and convincing evidence that the owner or provider acted or failed to act with willful misconduct or gross negligence, the most difficult legal standard of proof not normally applied in personal injury litigation.
SB1381. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. SENATE JUDICIARY COMM. Bans ending a pregnancy due to any disability in the fetus including one that would be incompatible with life. Would force live births with extreme uncertain or doomed measures to preserve life. Removes the discretion of grieving families including where there is no hope of survival.
SB1459. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. SENATE JUDICIARY COMM. Treats the Arizona Corporation Commission, a constitutionally established branch of government, the same as other agencies regarding appeals of decisions to the courts.
SB1409. OPPOSE. 9:00 a.m. SENATE JUDICIARY COMM. Intended to chill actions to help protect our communities. Requires cities to jump through additional hoops to adopt ordinances including specifically producing an impact statement relative to “property rights.”
9:00 a.m. THURSDAY: SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING – LIVESTREAM
Hearing on the above and many other bills. Public may livestream HERE.
RULES COMMITTEE BILLS – 1:00 p.m., MONDAY, FEB 8. Our RTS will have little effect on the Rules Committees, whose purpose is to check the legality and constitutionality of bills before sending to the entire Senate or House for vote. You may have voted on these bills when they were in a previous committee. However, please do make sure you have done RTS on the especially harmful bills.
NEW. SB1251. OPPOSE. Allocates $3M in tax money to a statewide anti-abortion campaign and a “crisis pregnancy center” legally barred from providing prospective parents with all their options. Part of a coordinated attack on women’s rights. A mirror bill to HB2404 (above).
NEW. HB2705. SUPPORT. Prohibits schools from setting dress codes preventing students from wearing traditional tribal regalia to graduation.
Please be sure you have voted on these bills from previous Bulletins:
SB1068. OPPOSE. Voter suppression.
SB1105. OPPOSE. Attack on Initiatives.
SB1108. OPPOSE. Tax cuts for the wealthy starve public services.
SB1175. OPPOSE. Stops ACC from regulating energy.
SB1240. OPPOSE. Make work for County Recorders.
SB1273. OPPOSE. Expands private school vouchers.
SB1358. OPPOSE. Stops community voter registration.
SB1382. OPPOSE. Makes gun stores essential businesses.
HB2248. OPPOSE. Stops ACC from regulating energy.
HB2261. SUPPORT. Reforms for the safety of incarcerated women.
HB2125. SUPPORT. Protects PreK-4 against rash expulsion.
HB2395. SUPPORT. Keeps sidewalk clear for disabled.
SB1376. SUPPORT. Requires mental health education.
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OUR SOURCES INCLUDE: Arizona Legislature, azleg.gov, CEBV/Iyer AZ Legislature Weekly Update, UUJAZ/VUU Arizona Legislative Alert, SOS Arizona Legislative Updates, Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Legislative Updates, Arizona League of Women Voters, Arizona Capitol Times, and many more.
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