LEGISLATIVE ALERT ~ Week of March 11, 2019

It’s a busy week in the legislature. Lots of bills will be on the floor of each House and there are important committee hearings, too. Make your voice heard by using Request to Speak or call or write your representatives whose contact info we provide below.

USE RTS:         

HB 2125 – & SB 1242 – SUPPORT – Companion bills which have each passed their respective legislative chambers.  These bills would allow the state to draw down $56 million in federal funds for child care assistance – AT NO COST TO ARIZONA.

SB1088 – SUPPORT – Bill would provide comprehensive dental coverage through Medicaid for pregnant women 21 years of age or older.

SB 1097 – SUPPORT – Chiropractic services would be provided under Medicaid

SB 1353 – SUPPORT – Bill would bring diabetes management services and dental care for Native American’s into Arizona’s Medicaid program.

HB 2275 – OPPOSE – Bill provides additional tax cuts for crop production tools, including fertilizer and other additives used to grow crops.  Another reduction to the General Fund.

SB 1090 – OPPOSE – Strip county recorders ability to institute emergency voting centers when needed.

SB 1314 – SUPPORT – Bill would remove some of the “aggravating” provisions to be taken into account when deciding on the death penalty.

HB 2523 – OPPOSE – Bill would lower the minimum wage for college students working less than 20 hours per week.

HB 2693 – OPPOSE – Bill allows parents to by-pass gun-free zones at public schools and keep loaded, unlocked weapons within reach in their cars while dropping off or picking up children.

HB 2038 – OPPOSE – Bill exempts lobbyists from having to report the true cost of lawmakers’ attendance at events as expenditures – hides extent of lawmaker participation in partisan conferences, etc.

HCR 2026 – SUPPORT – Bill would ask voters to repeal AZ’s voter-passed law mandating English-Only instructions.

CONTACT AZ STATE SENATORS:

Sylvia Allen (R) LD6             SAllen@azleg.gov                   602-926-5409

Jamescita Peshlakai (D) LD7 JPeshlakai@azleg.gov (602) 926-5160

SB 1098 – SUPPORT – Bill would create a pilot program that will provide grants to help individuals transition from public assistance to more secure housing.

SB 1460 – OPPOSE – Bill would tax digital goods and services – various watchdog groups say they are unable to determine what digital goods and services currently are being taxed.  SOS says the measure would cost $120 million per year.

SB 1366 – OPPOSE – Bill would exempt some software in data centers from taxation – retroactive to 2013.

SCR1023 – OPPOSE – Bill requires initiatives to gather 10% of their signatures from each legislative district for statewide matters, 15% for constitutional amendments and require 5% from each LD for a referendum.  The effect would be to make it almost impossible to pass citizen-initiated proposals. (Companion to HCR2005)

SB 1188 – OPPOSE – Bill takes a person OFF the PEVL if they don’t vote in a primary and a general election in sequence!

CONTACT AZ HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES:

 Bob Thorpe (R) LD6           BThorpe@azleg.gov               602-926-5219

 Walt Blackman (R) LD6       WBlackman@azleg.gov          602-926-3043

Arlando Teller (D) LD7 ateller@azleg.gov (602) 926-3069

Myron Tsosie (D) LD7 mtsosie@azleg.gov 602-926-3157

HB 2616 – OPPOSE – Bill would make it illegal for initiative or other advocacy groups to register people to vote if they are paid.  It would appear this includes DMV employees and county recorder offices.

HCR2005  – OPPOSE – Bill requires initiatives to gather 10% of their signatures from each legislative district for statewide matters, 15% for constitutional amendments and require 5% from each LD for a referendum.  The effect would be to make it almost impossible to pass citizen-initiated proposals. (Companion to SCR1023)

SB 1072 – OPPOSE – Requires photo ID’s at early voting centers – clearing an attempt to disenfranchise voters.

HB 2201 – OPPOSE – Would require city and other local elections to become partisan by printing party affiliation of candidates.

SB 1040 – SUPPORT – Establishes a committee to recommend improvements to information collection concerning the incidence and causes of maternal fatalities and severe maternal morbidity.  In Arizona 20 women die for every 100,000 live births and 89% of those deaths are deemed preventable.

Status of Education Bills

Good Bills

SB1485/Passed Senate 30-0.Caps the STOs (School Tuition Organization) tax credits at 2% or inflation which ever is lower. Donation to AZ STO’s are dollar-for-dollar credits from the state’s general fund, which surpassed a lifetime of $1 Billion in 2017 and has continued to grow 20% each year, reducing the funds available for public education and other state programs.

HB 2186 (Moving) / Passed Ed Committee 13-0. It would outlaw action that bring attention to students who are unable to pay for a school meal, including refusal to serve the child, the serving of an alternative meal, chores, or disciplinary treatment.  SB1099 / Passed 29-1. It will prohibit schools from denying access to “patriotic” you groups who wish to speak for a limited period of time n a public school.  Examples are Big Brothers–Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts and Little League Baseball. Also prohibits discrimination on the basis of 34 different reason including “oath of allegiance to god and county.”  Bill is needed if school district receives federal funds.

Bad Bills

SB1395 Small incremental expansion of vouchers (Empowerment Scholarship Accounts), but this is one of many incremental expansions that has been chipping away at local public funds.This bill lets students take money out of public school funds to pay for private, religious or home-schooled children.  According to Senate fiscal note, the increase in ESA’s cost to the General Fund would be $290,000 in FY2020, $580,000 in FY 2021 and $870,000 in FY 2022.  Still in committee.

HB2026 / Passed 31-29 Muzzles teachers by preventing them from using school resources for printing or circulating information about elections or legislation. Much of these policies are already illegal, but this bill goes further and also allows a public citizen to sue or initiate a suit if they perceive a violation. 

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