Legislative Alerts – Week of February 3, 2020

Contact our Coconino County Legislators and use Request to Speak regarding these bills. Our Legislative Committee has reviewed and evaluated to make these recommendations. We also have a new post this week explaining how to use the Request to Speak system.

LD-6 Legislators (all Republicans)

LD-7 Legislators (all Democrats)

House and Senate Leaders (Republicans):


Election Integrity / Voting Rights 

SB1020 – OPPOSE – requires ballot measure pamphlets to warn voters of their Prop 105 rights…ballot measures can only be undone by 3/4 vote of the legislature.  Seems like a scare tactic to voters from voting for ballot propositions. 

SB1032 – OPPOSE – Would prohibit the practice of “ballot curing,” eliminating the current practice of giving people who fail to sign their early ballot envelopes additional time to sign and have their votes counted. 

SB1434 – OPPOSE – More obstacles to voting – this time to recall petitions. 

SCR1018 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend Arizona’s Constitution to require legislative districts to vary in size by no more than 5,000 people. Currently districts can vary by up to 10%. Effort could split minority voting blocs, diluting Native and other voices, which tend to vote Democratic — potentially giving Republicans an advantage. Arizona’s current redistricting system is held up as a national model, making the need for changes questionable. 

HR2004 – OPPOSE – A resolution urging Congress to support the electoral college and oppose any effort to repeal or replace it. 

HB2304 – OPPOSE – Would require federal-only ballots to be on a different color of paper and labeled “FEDERAL BALLOT” at the top. Would this bill create a stigma for voters who are handed federal-only ballots? 

Infrastructure

SB1035- SUPPORT – $15 million from general fund toward a bridge over Tonto Creek.

Environment

HB 2293 – OPPOSE – Exempts Solar Batteries from sales taxes, also prevents cities from taxing them.  Impact on government revenue will snowball as more of these devices are developed.  Bill does not require that the source of the energy to be stored comes from renewable sources.

Local Control

HB 2313 – OPPOSE – Bans cities from requiring businesses to install fire sprinklers unless they are already renovating.

HB 2686 – OPPOSE – Would prop up the natural gas industry by preventing cities from limiting gas hookups for new construction.  (Companion Senate bill SB 1222)

Taxation

HB 2356 – OPPOSE – Greatly increases Arizona’s standard individual tax deduction.  No estimate of the total impact to tax revenues but it is likely to be large.

Education

SB 1224 – OPPOSE – Would expand ESA (Empowerment Scholarship Accounts) vouchers to use for religious schools outside the state!  We can’t fund schools in the state and now Sylvia Allen wants to have us fund schools in other states.

SB 1357 – OPPOSE – Would require all books, instructional aides, reading materials, etc., to be approved the year before school starts.  The result would be to eliminate a teacher’s ability to discuss current events or tailor lessons to assist struggling students!

SB1048 – NEUTRAL – development a system under which the Arizona Department of Education could investigate uncertified educators; seems to exempt too many categories of teachers to make a real difference. 

SB1060 – SUPPORT – would allow school districts to request extra funding from the Department of Education’s Extraordinary Special Education Needs Fund for students.

HB2015 – OPPOSE – Take control of classroom materials away from teachers and give it to governing boards. 

HB2166 – OPPOSE – Would remove a year of math requirements for the graduation of students from high school, and require state universities to adjust their admission requirements downward accordingly. This could leave students unprepared for college-level math.

HB2271- SUPPORT – Would appropriate $5 million through the Department of Education to pay for dual enrollment tuition for juniors and seniors who are eligible for free and reduced lunch (a widely used measure of poverty).  A good start toward helping needy students into college.

HCR2001 – SUPPORT – Would ask voters to repeal Arizona’s voter-passed law mandating English-only instruction. The move, a priority for Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, would bring state education standards in line with research that shows the positives of bilingual education. 

SCR1002 – NEUTRAL – Increase Prop 310 sales tax permanently from the current 0.6 cents to a full penny for new money for education.  Schools need a lot more than $400 million. Need to look at all funding sources as well. 

Social Services

SB 1328 – OPPOSE – Would spend $3 million over two years in taxpayer money on a statewide program to “support childbirth as an alternative to abortion”.  Bill would fund a single organization that would be legally barred from providing prospective parents with information on abortion. The organization would also have access to Arizona’s 211 Hotline.  This service, which used provide services on poverty, domestic violence, women’s health and more but has been discontinued at the insistence of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) to prevent people from getting any information about abortion.  (See Mirror House Bill HB 2388)

HB 2642 – SUPPORT – Would add pregnancy and childbirth to state nondiscrimination law.

SB 1397 – SUPPORT – Would preserve the mandate that health insurers provide coverage to those Arizonans with pre-existing conditions should federal courts strike down that provision of the Affordable Care Act.

SB1170 – SUPPORT – Add dental care for pregnant women ages 21 and older to list of services covered by AZ Medicaid system.

Other

SB1274 – OPPOSE – Would strip professionals front the state boards of technical registration, barbers, cosmetology, accountancy, funeral directors, and massage therapy.  Seems to be a bill to deregulate and defang these professional boards and harm their ability to protect consumers.

SCR1003 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend Constitution to exempt from taxation the first $2 million of personal property for a business.  Every area of Arizona government is short of funds. The cost to the general fund is unknown. We shouldn’t be digging the hole deeper.

HB2036 – OPPOSE – Would impose mandatory 5-year minimum sentences for fentanyl, heroin and other narcotics.  Could punish people in need of substance-abuse treatment instead of effectively targeting major drug dealers.

HB2084 – OPPOSE – Would ban cities and counties from requiring permits for an international border wall, effectively blocking them from stopping construction. The bill also adds that any border wall construction on state land is automatically granted.

HB2140 – OPPOSE – Would force current and former inmates who sue Arizona in civil court to pay off their medical costs before they can receive any monetary awards. The bill explicitly includes costs for injuries incurred by inmates who work for Corrections or in labor programs such as at Hickman’s Egg Farms. Critics say the bill shifts medical costs from negligible employers onto the very people who were hurt, and that it could deter inmates from holding companies that use prison labor accountable.

SB1222 – OPPOSE – Gives more power to monopoly utilities over local government. Promoted to prohibit local government from limiting extension of gas lines in areas for new construction.  Bill is in response to communities limiting new gas lines and limiting gas in new construction to protect public health and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

HB2454 – OPPOSE – Adds two extra members to the Archaeology Advisory Commission – a rancher and a member of a natural resource conservation district.  More than likely intended to weaken recommendations from the Commission, especially related to protection of cultural resources that involve livestock interests. 

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