Legislative Alerts ~ Week of February 10, 2020

The Legislature is on high speed in an attempt to adjourn early and get out on the campaign trail. When things go fast, bad things can happen. So please pay attention and lobby regarding for or against these bills. Many are ripe for RTS.

LD-6 Legislators (all Republicans)

LD-7 Legislators (all Democrats)

House and Senate Leaders (Republicans):


HEALTHCARE

CHANGE FROM LAST WEEK!!!

SB 1397 – OPPOSE – This bill we supported last week because it was supposed to retain health coverage even with pre-existing conditions if the ACA was overturned by the courts.  HOWEVER, the bill does NOT prevent insurance companies from charging a huge upcharge for pre-existing conditions nor does it prevent lifetime spending caps!

HB 2788 – SUPPORT – Bill requires insurance companies in Arizona to cover the ten essential health benefits required under the ACA.

GENDER IDENTIFICATION

HB 2706 – OPPOSE – Bill would keep kids from playing on the athletic teams that match their gender identity at all public and private schools, community colleges and state universities.

EDUCATION

HB 2013 – OPPOSE – Would require teachers to hold back or fail students who do not meet course or competency requirements.  Takes the decision out of the hands of teachers and parents. Has no funding associated with it since the state will not pay for a student who is held back, hence the school would have to eat that cost.

HB 2086 – OPPOSE – Would require Arizona Board of Regents and Community Colleges in Arizona to waive tuition and fees for the spouses or children of those who serve in the military for 180 days per year or more or qualify as disabled military.  There is NO funding associated with this bill, hence the universities would have to raise tuition and fees on all other students to pay for this.  

SB 1224 – OPPOSE – Would allow the use of ESA funding to support private/religious schools outside the state of Arizona.

SB 1284 – SUPPORT – Would appropriate $5 million per year until 2027 for grants for tuition and fees for career and technical education for those with incomes under $60,000.  Grants would last 2 years and require recipients to work 30 hours of volunteer service per year.

HB 2639 – SUPPORT – Would create a public service scholarship (named after the late Senator John McCain) and appropriate $1 million in funding to match federal funds already available.  Students who finish a service program, such as AmeriCorps, could use the scholarship for college in Arizona.

HCR 2001 – SUPPORT – Would ask voters to repeal Arizona’s voter-passed law mandating English-only instruction.

SB 1444 – SUPPORT – Would clarify that student absences from school can be excused for mental or behavioral health reasons.  Currently an absence is excused only for illness, doctor’s appointment, bereavement, etc.

SB 1445 – SUPPORT – Would expand last sessions bill requiring suicide prevention training for college students.  The expansion would be to cover those studying to be a counselor or school social worker.

HB 2104 – SUPPORT – Continues supplemental child care assistance for parents who go back to school to further their employment goals.

VOTING RIGHTS

SB 1032 – OPPOSE – Prohibits the practice of “ballot curing” that gives a person who fail to sign their early ballot envelopes additional time to sign and have their votes counted.  This bill would automatically cause ballots without signed envelopes to be thrown out.

HB 2055 – OPPOSE – Would allow a person to work off up to ½ of traffic fines rather than pay them.  Traffic fines fund the Arizona Clean Elections Commission. Hence this is a back-door attempt to defund Clean Elections!

SB 1434 – OPPOSE – Would erect a plethora of new obstacles to recall petitions and would severely weaken the right to recall, a right that has a strong history in Arizona.

SCR 1018 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to require legislative districts to vary in size by no more than 5,000 people.  Current districts can vary by up to 10%. This effort would have the effect of splitting minority voting blocs, diluting Native and other voices at the Capitol.

WOMEN’S HEALTH

SB 1328 – OPPOSE – Would spend $3 million over two years on a statewide program to “support childbirth as an alternative to abortion.”  

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

SB 1170 – SUPPORT – Would add dental care for pregnant women ages 21 and older to the services covered by Arizona’s Medicaid system.  Also, companion bill HB 2727 – SUPPORT

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION

SB 1461 – SUPPORT – Would increase expense reimbursement of legislators to match the annual per diem for federal employees.  Rural legislators would get $185/day (up from $60) and Maricopa legislators would bet $55 per day (up from $35).  Legislators only receive $24,000 per year in compensation.

LOCAL CONTROL

HB 2313 – OPPOSE – Would ban cities from requiring businesses to install fire sprinklers unless they are renovating.  Cities and towns oppose this bill as an unnecessary power grab.

SCR 1007 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to ban cities and counties from limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration law.  This bill closely mirrors language from the infamous SB 1070.

FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

HB 2347 – OPPOSE – Would add social media posts to the types of electronic communications that are unlawful to use to “terrify, intimate, threaten or harass” others.  The bill is written so broadly that the ACLU warns it would criminalize speech on the internet. The bill would almost certainly be challenged in court and have to be defended at taxpayer expense.

ENVIRONMENT

HB 2454 – OPPOSE – Would stack the Archaeology Advisory Commission with two extra members, a rancher and a member of the natural resources conservation district.  It’s intent would be to weaken recommendations from the commission related to protecting cultural resources that involve livestock interests.

SB 1476 – SUPPORT – Would continue the Archaeology Advisory Commission for another three years (currently it is due to be dissolved later this year).  The commission seeks to keep construction projects from damaging tribal remains and antiquities but it is under pressure from ranching interests to be dissolved.

HB 2749 and S 1666 – OPPOSE – Jeopardize efforts to protect threatened and endangered animals and plants and provide for their recovery. Require information collected by state agencies from a private landowner as part of an endangered species survey, research, or conservation plan to be kept strictly confidential, forbidding its release to any person, including any other government agencies.

HB 2758 – SUPPORT – Promotes watershed health and “ecological water needs,” defined as water sufficient to sustain freshwater ecosystems, including riparian areas and wildlife habitat, as well as the human livelihoods and well-being that depend upon them.

SCR 1022 – SUPPORT – Proposes, if approved by voters, adding an article to the State Constitution recognizing the right to a clean and healthful environment.  

SCR 1023 – SUPPORT – Declares a Climate Emergency and supports mitigation efforts.

SB 1634 – SUPPORT – Requires the State Vehicle Fleet director to phase-in electric and hybrid vehicles.

SB 1631 – SUPPORT – Climate Action Plan. Requires ADEQ to require greenhouse gas emissions reporting; prepare an emissions inventory; and establish emission limits and a cap and trade program.

PUBLIC SAFETY

HB 2285 – OPPOSE – Would allow motorcycles to pass between lanes at under 15 MPH on a 45MPH street, a practice that is only legal in California.  Clearly unsafe.

HB 2380 – OPPOSE – Would place additional limits on product liability.  The last thing we need is a law that allows for more irresponsible behavior by big business.

SB 1667 – OPPOSE – Would allow the sale of “multiple tube aerial device” fireworks in Maricopa and Pima counties.  The devices shoot 9 to 15 exploding rockets 100 feet into the air. The sponsor of this bill works for TNT Fireworks.

SCR 1020 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to allow lawmakers to amend public health and safety measures passed by the voters after 1 year with a simple majority rather than the current three-quarters supermajority.  This appears to be an attempt to reverse any voter-approved measures to legalize marijuana. 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

HB 2751 – SUPPORT – Would create a procedure for notifying a minor in custody of their rights and notifying the minor’s parents or guardian of the minor’s rights.

SB 1333 – OPPOSE – Would grant additional protections to Arizona law enforcement officers who are accused of misconduct.  It contains protections the general public does not have.

RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP

SB 1664 – OPPOSE – Would make any government entity that establishes a gun-free zone liable for damages “if a reasonable person would believe that possession of a firearm could have helped the person defend against criminal conduct.”

GOVERNANCE

SCR 1048 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to change the corporation commission from elected representatives to having them appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate.  Seems to be another way to pack the commission with utility company supporters.

NATIVE AMERICANS / RURAL COMMUNITIES

SCM 1002 – SUPPORT – Urges Congress to pass HR 4318, the Providing Recovery Opportunities and Mitigating Industry and Shifting Economies (PROMISE) Act, introduced by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, that would provide federal resources to assist tribes and communities impacted by the closing of the Navajo Generating Station through community adjustment and economic diversification planning and infrastructure, a displaced worker demonstration project, and a schedule of declining partial payments to government entities to help make up for lost revenues.

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