Arizona Legislative Alert 3/14/2021

Bills not eligible for RTS – to be heard on the House Floor on Monday, 3/15/21.  Call our legislators and let them hear your opinion!!

HB2570 – OPPOSE – Would ban state agencies, cities, and counties from revoking the license of a business that defied an executive order unless they prove the business was an actual cause of transmission.  This bill FAILED on a House floor vote on March 4 but is back on reconsideration on Monday.

HCR2001 – OPPOSE – Would establish a “single subject” rule for statutory initiatives adding yet another barrier for ballot initiatives like Prop 208.  This would make it nearly impossible to deal with complex or even moderately complex issues.

SB1593 – OPPOSE – Would shorten the early voting window from 27 to 22 days – requires a postmark by Thursday before Election Day.  Another attempt to suppress the vote!!

SB1713 – OPPOSE – Would require voters who vote by mail to submit a Drivers License number or tribal ID or VR number plus extra documents to have their Vote by Mail ballot counted!!

HCR2016 – OPPOSE – Would require ballot measures to pass with 55% support to become law.  Another way to restrict and discourage citizen initiatives!

USE RTS FOR THESE BILLS AND CALL LEGISLATORS!!  WE NEED TO BE AS ACTIVE AS POSSIBLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

Request to Speak is a unique tool that the AZ state legislature has available for Arizonians to make comments opposing or supporting bills making their way through the legislature. To learn more about Request to Speak visit https://www.cebv.us/rts.html

To use Request to Speak visit https://apps.azleg.gov/RequestToSpeak

NOTE: RTS will likely be no longer effective after March 26, 2021 since that is the last date a bill can be heard in any committee.  After that date, we’ll need to contact our legislators directly to share our opinions.

Also, the Arizona Legislature should end around April 23 or so BUT the budget process is proceeding slowly and may cause the session to drag out until June – More time to worry about disastrous voting right attacks and other very bad bills to survive.  Our work is far from over!! Keep the faith!!

PUBLIC SAFETY

HB2366 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – Would increase the criminal speeding threshold from 85 to 90. This is the threshold at which serious penalties are imposed on speeders.

SB1127 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would relax laws surrounding speeding.  Under the proposal driving up to 75 mph in a 65 mph zone would be a maximum fine of $15.  This proposal will encourage speeding and make the roads more dangerous.

SB1377 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would exempt businesses from COVID-related liability except in cases with clear and convincing evidence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.  This strips protections from workers and the public!!

HB2551 – OPPOSE – Thursday Committee – Would allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring guns into libraries, community centers, public pools, state museums, the DMV, government offices, block parties, marches and street fairs – even if asked to turn over their firearms for storage.  

HB2575 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – Bans hospitals from denying clergy visitation rights, including during a pandemic.  The bill is “breathtakingly” broad, making no provision for infection control training.

VOTING RIGHTS

HB2569 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – Would bar election officials from receiving private or public funds to run an election, register voters, or combat election disinformation!!  Private funding is necessary if the government isn’t going to commit to sustainable long-term funding.

HCR2023 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – This is a non-binding resolution opposing federal action to regulate state elections (such as HR 1)!  

SB1003 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would restrict voters from adding their signatures (if missing) to their early ballot envelope to no later than 7PM on Election Day.  This eliminates any “cure” time in which county recorders could contact voters to have them provide a valid signature and have their vote count.

SB1010 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would allow anyone to request a recount of an election through tabulation machines or by hand, regardless of the margin of victory, as long as they post a bond to cover the cost.  Allowing rich people to demand a recount simply because they can afford it will never restore confidence in our elections -it will just slow things down and cause unnecessary chaos and complexity.

SB1083 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would change the law to require an automatic recount when elections are within 0.5% – current recounts are required only when the margin is within 0.1% or 200 votes, whichever is less.  This is a huge change and would result in significant recounts at taxpayer expense for no good reason!

SB1105 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would increase the summary printed atop ballot measures such as citizen initiatives from 100 to 200 words.  At best adding 100 words will make the petitions more crowded, leaving less room for signatures.  At worst, it bolsters the efforts of groups like the Goldwater Institute to steer politics in Arizona with their seemingly unlimited funds.

SB1497 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would require ballots and publicity pamphlets that contain citizen initiatives to carry a “Prop 108 disclosure” that, these measures cannot be changed without a 3/4th vote of the legislature.  This is a scare tactic to discourage voters from passing their own laws.

SB1531 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would require petition circulators to read the descriptions on initiative and referendum petitions aloud to signers!  This just makes it more difficult for citizens to pass laws lawmakers don’t like!

SB1714 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would require “paid for by” disclosures on campaign ads to disclose what percentage of contributions came from out of state.  

SB1793 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Requires, rather than permits, the secretary of state to purge deceased voters from the statewide voter registration database.  This already happens on a regular basis, mandating it could create issues where eligible voters end up being removed in error.

SCR1024 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Asks voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to require any citizen’s initiative that raises taxes or even reduces tax credits to pass with a 2/3 vote!  This is a direct attack on voting rights!!

SB1485 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – Would strip voters from the Permanent Early Voting List if they fail to vote their early ballots in two back-to-back primary and general elections, and strikes the word “permanent” from statute.

GENERAL FUND

SB1260 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Also SCR1019 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would exempt disabled veterans from state property taxes – a positive suggestion on face value – BUT – Arizona gives away more money every year in tax cuts and credits than it spends – leaving the state government underfunded in nearly every area, struggling to provide basic services.  A better support for our veterans would be to provide educational and economic support programs, improve health care and other safety nets.

SB1146 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – STRIKER – Would create a loophole allowing anyone who lives outside of Arizona to buy a vehicle in Arizona free of state and city sales taxes.  This is designed to help the very wealthy and will costs the General Fund millions each year.

GOVERNANCE

SB1382 – OPPOSE – WENDY ROGERS – Wednesday Committee – Would redefine firearms and ammunition stores as “essential businesses”, preventing the governor from closing them during a state of emergency.  In a state of emergency, the added stress and elevated emotion dramatically incrase the likelihood of deadly situations that use firearms.

SB1409 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – Would require an “impact statement” as a condition of approval which serves as a tool to oppose proposed multi-family housing projects – specifically designed to deal with affordable housing efforts.  This would add delays, waste taxpayer dollars and would add to the bureaucracy of the zoning process for affordable housing developments.

HB2111 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – Would declare any law that “violates the 2nd amendment” to be void in Arizona.  The bill is unclear on who would decide if a law violates the Constitution. 

HCR2002 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – A non-binding resolution to support a constitutional amendment limiting the US Supreme Court to nine justices. 

EDUCATION

SB1452 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – WOULD EXPAND ESA VOUCHERS TO TWO-THIRDS OF ARIZONA STUDENTS, EXPANDS THE WAYS THE MONEY CAN BE USED, AND EVEN ALLOWS DOUBLE-DIPPING INTO OTHER TAX CREDIT VOUCHER PROGRAMS.  ESA VOUCHERS ALREADY SPHON HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR FROM OUR NEIGHBORHOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  THIS WOULD DRAIN PROP 208 FUNDS OUT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AS FAS AS VOTERS CAN PUT THEM IN!!!!!!

HB2840 – OPPOSE – Thursday Committee – Would allow parents to bypass gun-free zones at public schools and keep loaded and unlocked weapons within reach in their cars while dropping off and picking up children!

HB2241 – SUPPORT – Monday Committee – Would require students be taught about the Holocaust and other genocides at least twice between 7th and 12th grades.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

SB1457 – OPPOSE – Wednesday Committee – This is a multi-pronged attack on the rights and the agency of women.  It gives “unborn children at every stage of development” the same rights as an actual person, and makes abortion due to any genetic abnormality, including one incompatible with life, a felony.

SB1237 – SUPPORT – Monday Committee – Would create a new right to sue for “fertility fraud” – holding liable doctors who use their own sperm to impregnate women without their consent.

NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS

SB1558 – SUPPORT – Wednesday Committee – Would appropriate funds for construction on the Ganado School Loop Road, built in 1991, which hasn’t been maintained or upgraded in 28 years.  

FREE SPEECH

HB2309 – OPPOSE – Thursday Committee – Would create a new felony offence, “violent or disorderly assembly” and toughen penalties for these offenses.  This is a bill that provides another way to throw the book at peaceful protestors (a la BLM).

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

HB2318 – SUPPORT – Monday Committee – Would curtail the use of “Hannah Priors”, which allow attorneys to prosecute people facing multiple charges related to one crime as repeat offenders.

ENVIRONMENT

HB2691 – OPPOSE – Monday Committee – Striker – Would create a new regulatory program in Arizona for some water bodies that, in the wake of Trump-era deregulation, are no longer federally protected.  This is supported by the mining industry and developers!

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