Legislative Alerts ~ Week of February 24, 2020

Most of these bills are not available for Request to Speak since there are only a few committees meeting this week.  The bills are transitioning from one house to the other this week so most of these are scheduled for floor votes this week.  We recommend that folks e-mail or call the legislators to express their opinion on each bill rather than rely on RTS except as noted below. (Tips on effective and efficient use of RTS, here.)

LD-6 Legislators (all Republicans)

LD-7 Legislators (all Democrats)

House and Senate Leaders (Republicans):


LOCAL CONTROL

(Call or Email the Governor – This is on his desk for signature!!)

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)

PUBLIC SAFETY

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.

TAXES

SCR 1003 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend the constitution to exempt from taxation the first $1 million of personal property that is used for a business.  This would reduce the general fund by $1.5 million every year – just less money to fund schools and other critical needs.

HB 2442 – OPPOSE – Would repeal the vehicle registration fee lawmakers authorized two years ago to repair crumbling roads and bridges.  This would cost $107 Million per year that would not be available to upgrade our deteriorating infrastructure.

SB 1671 – OPPOSE – Would give utilities a tax credit for building water and sewer systems.  The cost of the tax credit is not known.  We must fully restore the tax cuts made during the Great Recession before further cutting revenues.

GOVERNANCE

SB1350 – SUPPORT – RTS eligible – Historic preservation initiatives promote economic development in our rural communities and urban areas by creating jobs, revitalizing historic areas, increasing property values, and promoting heritage tourism.

SCR 1018 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to amend the constitution to require legislative districts to vary in size by no more than 5,000 people.  Currently districts can vary by as much as 10%.  This would be used to split minority blocs, dilute Native American and other voices at the capital.

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.

SB 1369 – OPPOSE – Would ban the Corporation Commission and state agencies from regulating electricity and alt-fuels as motor vehicle fuel, or their fueling infrastructure, without express legislative authority.  This appears to be a bill from the Western States Petroleum Association.  Banning regulation could drive up costs and contribute to an overloaded grid.

SB 1669 – OPPOSE – Would weaken state penalties for high-speed traffic violations and eliminate points on people’s licenses when they get speeding tickets.  Would likely cause insurance companies to raise rates across the board in Arizona to compensate for the cost of bad drivers.

HB 2092 – OPPOSE – This bill would block individuals from giving private land to the Federal Government without express consent from the Legislature and the Governor!

HB 2699 – SUPPORT – Would waive fees for state ID’s for homeless people, including those living at homeless shelters.

SCR 1010 – OPPOSE – Is subject to a “STRIKER” that would ask voters to amend the constitution to curb renewable energy in Arizona.  The measure would require that electric companies allow their customers to opt out of funding renewable energy and electric vehicle  charging stations, including roof top solar.  Such a measure would create “rate chaos”.

EDUCATION

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.

SB 1587 – SUPPORT – Would have Arizona join 11 other states in banning “lunch shaming” at schools.

SCR 1002 – SUPPORT – Would ask voters to increase Prop 301 sales tax permanently from its current $0.6 cents to a full penny.  Such a move would voter-protect the funding and add a modest $400 million a year for education.

HB 2128 – OPPOSE – Would require all public schools and universities in the state, except for year round schools, to standardize their calendars to offer 1-week-long spring and fall breaks at the same time!!

HB 2367 – OPPOSE – Would require parents to provide proof of legal custody when enrolling their children in school.  This bill runs directly afoul of Federal Law.

PERSONAL EXPENSES

SB 1521 – OPPOSE – Would mandate that ticket issuers offer all buyers a transferable option that allows tickets to be given away or resold.  Requiring a transfer option simply opens the door to scalping.  Also OPPOSE HB 2743 – the House version.

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 2540 – SUPPORT – Would make emotional abuse of vulnerable adults – persons 18 years or older who are unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect or exploitation because of physical or mental impairment – a reportable offense.

HB 2632 – SUPPORT – Would keep foster children eligible for state medical care until they turn 26 without additional regulatory hurdles for them to jump through.  The current limit is 18.

NATIVE AMERICANS / RURAL COMMUNITIES

HB 2573 – SUPPORT – Appropriates $3 million for the Navajo Technical University to develop and construct an environmental testing laboratory at its Chinle campus.

HB 2822 – SUPPORT – Appropriates $5 million to construct a traffic circle and traffic control devices on US 89A near Horseshoe Bend.

SB 1177 – SUPPORT – Appropriates $908,300 for repairs and upgrades of County Road C-420 Ganado School Loop Road.

SB 1187 – SUPPORT – Delays repeal of the Native American Veterans Income Tax Settlement (VITS) Refund Program, and extends the time period for claims through December 31, 2021.

ENVIRONMENT

SCR 1010 – OPPOSE –  (RTS eligible early in the week) Striker legislation that would hamper efforts to transition to renewable energy. This resolution would ask voters to amend the Constitution so that electric utility companies could allow their customers to opt-out of funding renewable energy, including rooftop solar, and electric vehicle charging stations. This would undermine Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard and create “rate chaos.”

HB 2457 – SUPPORT – Requires the Arizona Board of Regents to consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer in directing and managing the Arizona State Museum.

HB 2551 and SB 1350 – SUPPORT – Appropriate $10 million annually to the Arizona State Parks Board Heritage Fund.

HB 2749 and SB 1666 – OPPOSE – Endangered Species Secrecy. These bills require state agencies that collect data and information from a private landowner as part of an endangered species survey, research, or conservation plan to keep that information strictly confidential, forbidding its release to any person, including any other government agencies. This secrecy will make it impossible for other state and federal agencies, landowners, scientists, and the public to monitor and participate in efforts to recover imperiled plants and animals.

SB 1211 – OPPOSE – Repeals all administrative rules on July 1, 2022, unless extended by an agency through statutory rulemaking. Repeals the Arizona Administrative Code each year, beginning July 1, 2023, unless continued by the Legislature for up to one year. Highly inefficient, would result in chaos and uncertainty.

VOTING RIGHTS

HB2272 – OPPOSE – RTS eligible – from Rep. Bob Thorpe which requires the same officer who performed the logic and accuracy testing on electronic ballot tabulating systems and programs before the election to conduct that testing on the automatic tabulating equipment, electronic ballot tabulating systems and programs after the completion of the unofficial results of the election to ensure they continue to correctly count the votes.  ***No checks and balances here.  Really?  Why should the same individual verify an electronic ballot machine before and after an election?  Seems quite odd. 

HB2304 – OPPOSE – Phone – from Rep. Kelly Townsend (602) 926-4467 would modify the verification of voter registration records by, among other things, authorizing the Attorney General to contract with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to use a program that verifies citizenship status for agencies that grant benefits to assist Arizona in verifying voter registration information; and, also grants the Attorney General access to the statewide voter registration database in order to verify the information contained within the database.  

HB2343 – OPPOSE – Phone – from Rep. John Fillmore (602) 926-3187 provides identification requirements for depositing an early ballot at an early voting location or voting center. Requires the officer in charge of elections to direct the person delivering the early ballot to do both of the following: a) Sign a delivery log and print the name of the person delivering the early ballot; and
b) Provide identification, no photograph required, that matches the person delivering the ballot.

HB2805 – OPPOSE – Phone – from Rep. Mark Finchem (602) 926-3122 would establish the Arizona Election Process Study Committee.  An attempt by the legislature to take over the Secretary of State functions of regulation of elections, and your county board of supervisors and county recorders including selection and management of polling place locations.

HB2827 – OPPOSE – Phone – from Rep. Mark Finchem (602) 926-3122 instructs the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections to conduct a hand count if certain conditions apply.  The real purpose of this bill is the belief that voters are casting more than one ballot. These cases are exceedingly rare.  As of 2017, Voter fraud in Arizona: How often does it happen?: of the 30 referrals received by the Attorney General’s Office, twenty resulted in convictions, of the others, six cases were turned down, one was dismissed, one conviction was overturned on appeal and two cases are still active. Several of these individuals claimed in court documents that they did not intentionally vote twice. Accidental double voting is probably the most common type of voter fraud that occurs, said David Wells, senior political-science lecturer at Arizona State University. Intentional voter fraud is “pretty much nonexistent,” Wells said.

HCR2032 – OPPOSE – Phone – from Rep. Anthony Kern (602) 926-3102 requires initiative measures to only cover one subject and matters relating to that subject. An initiative measure must embrace only one subject and matters connected to that subject and requires the subject to be expressed in the title of the initiative measure. As Howard Fisher reports today, Slew of GOP-led measures would make ballot initiatives more difficult in Arizona.

HCR2039 – OPPOSE – Phone – from Rep. Mark Finchem (602) 926-3122 would modify the constitutional requirements for proposing an initiative or referendum. As Howard Fisher reports, Slew of GOP-led measures would make ballot initiatives more difficult in Arizona.

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