Legislative Alerts ~ Week of March 8, 2020

These bills pending in the Arizona Legislature deserve your action. Get on the AZ Legislature website and RTS, call, and email. Contact info for our Coconino County representatives is below.

LD-6 Legislators (all Republicans)

LD-7 Legislators (all Democrats)

House and Senate Leaders (Republicans):


EDUCATION

SB 1061 – OPPOSE – Mandates a Parental Bill of Rights – puts these “rights” into statute and increases complexity and is considered unnecessary.  Includes information to help parents keep their children from receiving sex education and immunizations.

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 2806 – SUPPORT – Would create a fund for the Department of Education to distribute preschool development grants.  More than 2,000 low-income families in Arizona across 70 school districts have relied on Federal grants for preschool programs, but that federal funding disappeared last year.  This is a bi-partisan proposal to allocate a total of $30 million, stepped upwards over 3 years.

SB 1224 – OPPOSE – Would allow the use of ESA funding to support private/religious schools outside the state of Arizona.  This bill now also contains “reforms” which move the oversight of ESA’s to the State Board of Education (which doesn’t have the staff to oversee the program), allows parents to buy goods like large screen TV’s with ESA funds; and allow kids to receive “K-12” ESA funds until age 22.

FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

SB 1143 – OPPOSE – Would make Arizona the only state in the nation to classify criticism of Israel as a hate crime!  The bill’s definition of anti-Semitism is so broad that, according to the ACLU, it runs afoul of First Amendment protections on political speech.

GOVERNANCE

SB 1274 – OPPOSE – Would strip professionals from the state boards of technical registration, barbers, cosmetology, accountancy, funeral directors, and massage therapy.  “Cutting Red Tape” has exposed Arizona to a variety of debacles, including Theranos, Hacienda, and self-driving Uber scandals.  This is an attempt to deregulate and defang these boards and harm their ability to protect consumers.  Professionals across the spectrum agree that regulation is needed.

HB 2054 – OPPOSE – This is this year’s attack on Clean Elections.  The bill would allow anyone to ask the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) to review a Clean Elections practice, action or rule, based on nothing more than the person’s belief that it exceeds the agency’s authority.  The GRRC is entirely filled with political operatives appointed by the Governor, some of whom have been trying to undo Clean Elections since its inception.

SB 1434 – OPPOSE – Would require strict compliance for recall petitions similar to the changes already made for initiative and referendum campaigns.  If passed, technical violations could disqualify recall drives.  The right to recall should be preserved, not weakened.

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.

HCR 2032 – OPPOSE – Would require initiatives in Arizona to conform to a single subject or be invalidated.  This would prevent anything comprehensive from being placed on the ballot.  This requirement has already been rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court.

ANIMAL CRUELTY

HB 2724 – SUPPORT – Would ban the sale of all eggs laid by confined or caged hens starting in 2025.  It is considered a compromise between Arizona’s egg industry and the Humane Society.

LOCAL CONTROL

HB 2084 – OPPOSE – Bans cities and counties from requiring permits to build Border Wall sections.  Border Walls built on state land are automatically granted permission according to this bill.

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.

SOCIAL SERVICES

HB 2695 – SUPPORT – Would allow a course in financial literacy and personal finance to qualify as a work activity for those required to work as a condition of eligibility for cash assistance.

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

VOTING RIGHTS

SB 1020 – OPPOSE – Would require ballots and their publicity pamphlets to warn voters of their Prop 105 rights – namely, that their choices can only be undone by a ¾ vote of the legislature, and then only when it furthers the votes’ interests.  A scare tactic that will discourage voters from voting in favor of ballot propositions.  This is really electioneering in another form.

SB 1032 – 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.  The end result of this bill would be to have anyone who doesn’t sign and doesn’t get back in on Election Day to have their ballot thrown out.

HB2054 – OPPOSE – Allows a partisan, Governor-appointed, commission that requires no partisan balance to review and revoke rulings by the Citizen’s Clean Election Commission. Has already passed the House, need to kill it in committee.

SB1434 – OPPOSE – Would require strict compliance for recall petitions, e.g., technical violations could disqualify recall drives.  The right to recall has a strong history in AZ – it should be preserved, not weakened. 

TAXATION

HB 2293 – OPPOSE – Builds on last year’s tax exemption for energy storage by fully exempting items like solar batteries from sales tax, including banning cities from taxing them.  The impact on the General Fund will snowball in future years.

ENVIRONMENTAL

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.

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