Legislative Alert ~ Week of March 16, 2020

Contact our Legislators Directly or Use RTS to Express Your Position on These Bills! Please watch for alerts related to the budget throughout the week.

LD-6 Legislators (all Republicans)

LD-7 Legislators (all Democrats)

House and Senate Leaders (Republicans):



EDUCATION

SB1357 – OPPOSE – would require all books, instructional aides, mandatory and optional reading materials to be pre-approved the year before school starts, before teachers even meet their students.

SB1587 – SUPPORT – would have Arizona join 11 other states in banning “lunch shaming” at school.

HB2115 – OPPOSE -would require all Arizona universities and community colleges to develop and require a 6 credit-hour course on the U.S. & Arizona Constitutions, which would be mandatory for graduation. Arizona higher education already faces the deepest funding cuts and biggest tuition increases of anywhere in the nation since 2008. Arizona university in-state tuition for 2010-20 is $702 per credit hour, meaning this mandatory class will add $4200 to the cost of a university degree, not including books and materials. The bill comes with no appropriation.

GOVERNANCE

SCR1018 – OPPOSE -would ask voters to amend Arizona’s Constitution to require that legislative districts vary in size by no more than 5,000 people. This would dilute Native and other voices which tend to vote Democratic. 

ANIMAL CRUELTY

HB2724 – SUPPORT -would ban the sale of all eggs laid by confined or caged hens starting in 2025. Dunn calls it a compromise between Arizona’s egg industry (dominated by Hickman’s) and the Humane Society. The changes could cost Hickman’s several hundred million dollars, but would allow them to continue selling eggs in California, which passed a similar law in 2015. Egg producers would have to start giving hens more space by the end of this year. The bill doesn’t address cruel practices like forced molting, but it’s a step forward compared to current practice, especially given the difficulty of ballot initiatives these days.

LOCAL CONTROL

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

SOCIAL SERVICES / COURTESY

SB1397 – OPPOSE -would preserve only portions of the Affordable Care Act in case federal courts strike it down. A ruling from the United States Supreme Court could come as early as this spring. The bill lacks many of the protections of the Affordable Care Act. It won’t protect Arizona residents from insurance companies that choose to spike prices due to pre-existing conditions, or from price gouging since it doesn’t prevent lifetime insurance spending caps. 

HB2485 – SUPPORT -would institute a civil penalty of $500 for vehicles that park blocking the sidewalk. Parking in this manner creates safety hazards for wheelchair users and others with mobility issues, blocking their independence and freedom of movement. 

HB2540 – 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.

SB1027 – SUPPORT -would prevent medical staff from performing or supervising pelvic examinations on anesthetized or unconscious patients without first getting the woman’s informed consent.

ELECTION INTEGRITY / VOTING RIGHTS

HCR2039 – OPPOSE -would likely end citizen initiatives for good in Arizona. Republican lawmakers and the business community have grown increasingly upset at voters’ determination to go around them to pass laws they don’t like. 

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 -would require strict compliance for recall petitions similar to the changes already made for initiative and referendum campaigns. If the bill passed, technical violations could disqualify recall drives. The right to recall has a strong history in Arizona (the creation of our state actually depended upon it) and should be preserved, not weakened. 

HB2054 – OPPOSE – 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 upon nothing more than the person’s belief that it exceeds the agency’s authority or violates Arizona’s Constitution. 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. 

HB2827 – OPPOSE -would mandate a slew of procedures if the number of ballots cast in any precinct exceeded the number of registered voters in the precinct starting 29 days before any election. The county recorder would be forced to count all ballots in that precinct by hand and review the tabulation equipment. There is no appropriation attached, and no data on how much the proposal would cost. This is likely a holdover from Republican complaints of voter fraud after the 2018 election. Despite rampant claims to the contrary, no evidence of voter fraud in Arizona exists.

TAXATION

SCR1003 – 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. The bill’s fiscal note estimates a direct yearly cost of $1.5 million to the General Fund, and also notes that, if passed, the state would have to come up with $1.5 million more every year in order to maintain current funding levels for K-12 education. Cutting revenue for public schools when our state is at the bottom of national rankings sends our state in the wrong direction.

ENVIRONMENTAL

HB2454 – OPPOSE -would stack the Archaeology Advisory Commission with two extra members, a rancher and a member of a natural resource conservation district. This is clearly intended to weaken recommendations from the Commission, especially those related to protection of cultural resources that involve livestock interests. 

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