Arizona Legislative Alert 4/11/21

Currently, much of the action in the Arizona Legislature is happening behind closed doors.  There are at least 78 bills that are very worrisome and that could make their way to a floor vote in either the House or the Senate (and then proceed to the Governor for signature) at any time.  We may only get a day’s notice so be alert and stay tuned.

Here is the contact information for our Legislators:

SENATE:

LD 6 – Wendy Rogers 602-926-3042

LD 7 – Jamescita Peshlakai 602-926-3160

President Karen Fann 602-926-5874

Majority Ldr Rick Gray 602-926-5413

HOUSE:

LD 6 – Walt Blackman 602-926-3043

LD 6 – Brenda Barton 602-926-3421

LD 7 – Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren 602-926-3069

LD 7 – Myron Tsosie 602-926-3157

Speaker Russell Bowers 602-926-3128

Majority Ldr Ben Toma 602-926-3298

CONTACT THE GOVERNOR AS BILLS MOVE TO HIM TO SIGN

IT IS BEST TO CALL HIS OFFICE TO VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION – 602-542-4331.

IF YOU TWEET – SEND YOUR OPPOSITION VIA TWITTER – @DOUGDUCEY 

(He hates to get Tweets it seems!!)

The Arizona Democratic Party is sponsoring a call night targeting moderate Republicans to vote against voter suppression bills. If you would like to join this action, sign up here.

ARIZONA BUDGET

The Opportunity:

  • $1.0 Billion dollars one-time excess revenue in 2021
  • $1.0 Billion dollars in the Governor’s “Rainy Day” fund
  • $4.0 Billion dollars in one-time aid coming to Arizona due to Pres. Biden’s COVID Relief effort

The Reality:

  • Roads – roads, bridges and highways are crumbling, particularly in rural areas
  • Prisons – understaffed, overburdened and in disrepair – AZ incarceration rate is the highest in the nation!
  • Healthcare – aging healthcare workforce is retiring faster than it can be replaced – most AZ medical school graduates leave our state.
  • K-12 Classrooms – playground sinkholes, leaky roofs, moldy carpets, sputtering air conditioners – AZ school infrastructure is decaying.
  • Teachers – AZ teachers remain the lowest paid in the nation.  One in four AZ classrooms have no permanent teacher
  • Higher Education – Costs at AZ three public universities have moved in a generation from the least expensive to the MOST expensive in the nation.
  • Unemployment – AZ weekly unemployment pay is the second lowest in the nation (just above Mississippi).

Current Legislator Plan:

  • $1.0 Billion permanent tax cut – every year
  • Move state income tax to a FLAT 2.5% in the next three years – significantly reducing annual revenue to the state and clearly benefiting the wealthy and circumventing Prop 208.

Lobby Legislators to Specifically Act Instead to:

  • Approve No tax cuts to the wealthy AND no Flat Tax giveaway!!!!
  • Fund Healthy Forest Initiative with $24 Million
  • Fund Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) with $5.0 Million
  • Fund Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (AQARF) with $18 Million
  • Fund the Heritage Fund for AZ parks with $10 Million
  • Fund the General Stream Adjudications (long running law suit to determine whohas the right to how much water among AZ rivers and streams) with $2.9 Million
  • Fund the Arizona Water Protection Fund with $1.0 Million

SPECIFIC BILLS TO VOICE A POSITION ON AS YOU LOBBY OUR LEGISLATORS

TO BE VOTED ON EITHER THE HOUSE OR SENATE FLOOR SOON

(THAT WE KNOW OF NOW)

SB1382 – OPPOSE – Sponsored by Wendy Rogers – 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 increase the likelihood of suicide, domestic violence, and unintentional shootings.

HB2462 – OPPOSE – Would force people to take extensive training (80 hours +) before serving on civilian review boards.  Arizona Police Association helped craft this bill.  Significant impact on adequate review of police misconduct.

HB2567 – OPPOSE – Would require any board that investigates or disciplines police officers to have sworn police officers as 2/3rd of its membership.

SB1783 – OPPOSE – Would allow small businesses to use an alternative income tax that is estimated to cut the revenue raised by Prop 208 by $527 Million – a HUGE cut!!

SB1452 – OPPOSE – Huge expansion of the Educational Scholarship Assistance program – AZ voucher program – to about 2/3 of all AZ school children!! This would drain Prop 208 funds!

HB2248 – OPPOSE – Would cripple the Arizona Corporation Commission from doing its job – specifically to promote clean energy policies and actions.

HB2551 – OPPOSE – 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 fair!!

HB2309 – OPPOSE – This is the anti-protestor bill – makes it a class 6 felony if more than 6 people protest “with the intent to engage in a riot or unlawful assembly to cause damage to property or injury to people” – Police are free to designate a protest to be such an unlawful protest with little oversight.  Clearly easy to misuse!!

SB1485 – OPPOSE – Would eliminate the Permanent Early Voting List!!!

SB1531 – OPPOSE – Would require petition circulators to read the full descriptions on initiative and referendum petitions aloud to signers!!

SB1106 – OPPOSE – Would make registering someone to vote in Arizona who has no “intent to remain” in the state a class 6 felony – clearly aimed at college students or new residents who are not sure how long they will remain in Arizona!!

SENT TO THE GOVERNOR – CONTACT GOV. DUCEY:

HB2569 – OPPOSE – 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!

SB1497 – OPPOSE – Would require ballots and publicity pamphlets that contain initiatives to carry a “Prop 108 disclosure” – aimed to discourage citizen initiatives.

FOR FUTURE USE

INTERESTING FACTS ON THE ARIZONA COURT SYSTEM

(Source: Arizona Advocacy Foundation)

  • Arizona judges are 91% white and 66% male
  • There are no Black, Native American or Asian/Pacific Islander judges on the Appellate Court
  • Of the 179 Superior Court judges, 165 of them are white
  • Only six Black judges serve in the entire Arizona court system – it has 288 judges
  • Latinx people are 30% of the Arizona population but only 7% of the judges
Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.