AZ Legislative Alert 2/7/2021

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: Even if you use RTS to respond to these actions, you might consider contacting our legislators via phone or e-mail as well to reinforce your opposition or support for a particular bill.  For legislator contact information follow this link:

ENVIRONMENT

SB1009 – SUPPORT – Would require all new state motor vehicles to be electric vehicles starting with model year 2022.

SB1175 – OPPOSE – (See HB2248 as well) – Would prohibit the Arizona Corporation Commission from regulating the types of electric generation used by public service corporations.  In effect this would prevent the Corporation Commission from requiring clean energy standards.

SB1368 – SUPPORT – sponsored by Kerr: allows the holder of water rights to file a plan to conserve a portion of the water (for up to a 10 year period, leaving the water in the stream for purposes of conservation or in-stream flow) without losing the right to the water. A crucially important step to avoid the general “use it or lose it” approach to state water rights. SUPPORT (as encouraged by Audubon Southwest).

CLEAN ELECTIONS

SB1104 – OPPOSE – Would require political campaigns to itemize every contribution from someone outside Arizona, complete with occupation and employer.  This is designed to hit hardest at Act Blue which has collected small dollar contributions nationwide for state races.  J.D. Mesnard, the bill’s sponsor, sponsored a bill in 2017 to allow unlimited, anonymous contributions to political campaigns calling it free speech.

VOTING RIGHTS

SB1106 – OPPOSE – Would make registering someone to vote in Arizona who has no “intent to remain” in the state a class 6 felony, with a penalty of 2 years in prison.  Clearly aimed at college students and winter visitors.

SB1003 – OPPOSE – Would limit “ballot curing” to no later than 7:00 PM on the day of the election.  

SB1020 – OPPOSE – Would restrict county recorders from establishing emergency voting centers to alleviate long lines.

SB1497 – OPPOSE – Would require ballots and publicity pamphlets that contain citizen initiatives to carry a “Prop 108 Disclosure” that these measures cannot be changed without a three-fourths vote of the legislature.  Clearly a scare tactic and a tactic to discourage voters from passing their own laws.

SB1531 – OPPOSE – Would require petition circulators to read the descriptions on initiatives and referendum petitions aloud to signers.  Each signer would have to affirm to the circulator before signing that they read and understood the description.  Otherwise, their signature would be invalid.  Clearly another attempt to make it more difficult to pass laws that legislators don’t like.

SCR1034 – OPPOSE – Would allow the legislature to amend voter-approved measures with a simple majority if courts find something illegal or unconstitutional in them.  The measure does not require legislators to amend only the illegal part – hence it is a loophole to weaken the Voter Protection Act and voice of the voters at the ballot box.

HB2358 – OPPOSE – Would force county recorders to use the postal service’s National Change of Address System and cancel registrations that have changed counties.  This will purge a lot of otherwise eligible voters!

HB2373 – OPPOSE – Would force anyone who requests or receives 10 or more voter registration forms to place their unique identifier on each form.  It is unnecessary and punitive.

HB2569 – OPPOSE – Would prohibit cities, counties and school districts from receiving private funds to prepare for or conduct an election, including registering voters.  There are many instances where, in the absence of sustainable federal election funding, cities and counties accept private grants as essential to avert disasters.  Conservative groups have sued to prevent this before believing it disproportionately helps Democrats.  Not substantiated.

HB2792 – OPPOSE – Would make it a class 5 felony to send you a ballot if you didn’t explicitly request one.  Likely a response to former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fortes’ pandemic-motivated decision in March to mail ballots for the Presidential Preference election to those not on the early voting list.

HB2793 – OPPOSE – Would ban public employees from registering someone to vote unless they specifically ask.  Another way to make it harder to vote.

SB1068 – OPPOSE – Would require the secretary of state’s elections rules to be signed off on by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council, a partisan body of gubernatorial appointees, and Legislative Council.  Intended to give the Governor and Legislature more influence.

SB1240 – OPPOSE – Would require ballots from voting centers to be separated by precinct before county recorders make the required 2% hand count.  An unnecessary change designed to increase time and costs.

SB1358 – OPPOSE – Would bar county elections officials from going out into the community to register people to vote.  This bill would result in a drastic decrease in citizen engagement.

GOVERNANCE

SCR1005 – OPPOSE – Would amend Arizona’s constitution to split legislative districts into 3 geographically separate sections, with each portion to have one representative.  This is a move to over represent red rural districts.  In any case it would result in a substantial addition to the Arizona house and cause the requirement for construction of new capital-area buildings – a cost not specified in this bill.

SB1333 – OPPOSE – Would prohibit cities from reducing their annual police budgets by any amount, with very few exceptions, or see the state withhold an equal amount of funding.  This would stop cities from redirecting funding to mental health, substance abuse and homeless programs or investing in use-of-force training for its officers.

SCR1001 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to repeal Ducey’s executive order privileges.  Clearly an attempt to undue any effort to control and mitigate the effects of the COVID pandemic. 

HB2737 – OPPOSE – Would allow any lawmaker to order Arizona’s attorney general to investigate the Arizona Corporation Commission.  This is a continuing attempt to strip the commission of its most fundamental powers and even make its members appointed rather than elected.

SCR1024 – OPPOSE – Would amend the Arizona constitution to require any citizen’s initiative that raises taxes or reduces tax credits to pass with a 2/3 vote.  This is a direct attack on voter rights.

HB2308 – OPPOSE – Would make it vastly more difficult to circulate recall petitions, mirroring “strict compliance” restrictions already in place for initiatives and referendums in which a single technical violation an disqualify an entire petition campaign.

HB2570 – OPPOSE – Would ban state agencies, cities and counties from revoking the license of a business that violated an executive order.  Another attempt to weaken the Governor’s executive order powers to deal with the pandemic.

HCR2016 – OPPOSE – Would ask voters to change the Constitution to require that any ballot measure get 60% of the vote to pass.  Another attempt to make voter initiatives harder to become successful.

SB1382 – OPPOSE – WENDY ROGERS – Would redefine firearms and ammunition stores as “essential businesses”, preventing the governor from closing them during a state of emergency.

EDUCATION

SB1118 – OPPOSE – STRIKER – Would expand individual and corporate STO tax credit vouchers to kids who transfer to private schools from being homeschooled or using an ESA or kids who move from out of state.  Another expansion of vouchers!!

SB1246 – OPPOSE – Would impose a two term limit on school board members, effectively limiting them to serving their community for 8 years.  These are un-paid, nonpartisan positions and are demanding jobs that require expertise and dedication.  We should not be making it more difficult for dedicated people to serve our communities.

SB1683 – OPPOSE – Would appropriate $10 million per year to give parents who send their children to charter or open enrollment district schools $80 per month in “transportation support grants”.  No verification of need is required.  While school busses sit in disrepair, parents would be able to hire private busses to get their children to school.

SB1685 – OPPOSE – Would ban attendance boundaries for district schools, further eroding the value of neighborhood schools that serve as anchors for local communities.  This bill would simply fast track segregation and white flight.

SCR1020 – SUPPORT – Would ask voters to repeal the restrictive mandate that students be taught only in English.  This would benefit over 80,000 students.

HB2063 – OPPOSE – Would require teachers to retain or fail a student who does not meet course or competency requirements, something that happens now at the teacher’s discretion.  No appropriations are attached – Arizona will not fund an additional year for retained students – forcing schools to eat the cost.

HB2151 – SUPPORT – Would invest up to $9 million over the next 3 years to give certificated teachers 75% off tuition at Arizona universities to further their education in exchange for agreeing to teach in the sate for 4 more year after graduation.

HB2418 – SUPPORT – Would establish a modest funding weight for gifted students, dedicating more resources to support their learning.  Current funding formula is over 40 years old and inadequate.

SB1108 – OPPOSE – Would reduce state revenue significantly and cut property taxes, that fund public schools, nearly in half.  Another attempt to benefit the state’s wealthiest people and corporations.

SB1273 – OPPOSE – Would expand the use of School Tuition Organization (STO) tax credit vouchers to a laundry list of new expenses: extracurricular activities, band uniforms, lab materials, even out-of-state school trips.  While STO vouchers have been purported to help poor children, the vast majority of the families using these programs are ones who can already afford to send their kids to private school.

SB1376 – SUPPORT – Requires health education instruction in schools to include a mental health component.

HB2125 – SUPPORT – Would allow students PreK-4 to be suspended or expelled only if engaged in dangerous conduct on school grounds.  Suspensions and expulsions in early childhood is an issue that disproportionately affects children of color.

SB1452 – OPPOSE – Would expand the state’s private school voucher program to over 800,000 students, diverting millions from public schools.  Flagstaff & Sedona are one of the districts that would have to pay additional property tax to cover the expense of this.  Every school teacher will have their pay reduced by some amount as a result of this bill.

SB1400 – OPPOSE – Would require school districts to allow 9-12 grade students to receive course credits through alternative methods such as organized supports, community arts, and outside leaning opportunities.  These are decisions that should be made by the community not the legislature.

SB1433 – SUPPORT – Would hold schools harmless for digital instruction during the pandemic by providing the same per-pupil funding as in-person instruction.

SB1403 – SUPPORT – literacy; dyslexia screening – modifies implementation timelines and screening plans, must be completed by Grade 1, requires a ADE specialist to provide guidance and at least one K-3 teacher per school to receive training.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

SB1387 – SUPPORT – Would continue supplemental child support for parents who go back to school to further their employment goals.

HB2485 – OPPOSE – Would define “violent or disorderly assembly” as 6 or more people acting together who create immediate danger of damage, disrupt law enforcement, or “disturb enjoyment of a right”.  Obstructing a road or causing a nuisance while part of such a group would become a class 6 felony.  A disturbing attack on the right to peaceful protest.

HB2648 – OPPOSE – Would make it discrimination to alter the tax treatment of a religious organization.  In June 2020 the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex also applies to sexual orientation and gender identity, rattling Christian conservatives who fear they may lose their tax status for racism.

HB2765 – SUPPORT – Would require law enforcement cases that involve deadly force to be investigated by a different agency than the one involved.  A necessary change.

HB2318 – SUPPORT – Would curtail the use of “Hannah priors”, which allow attorneys to prosecute people facing multiple charges related to one crime as repeat offenders, even if they had clean records before.

PUBLIC SAFETY

SB1334 – OPPOSE – Would legalize “multiple tube aerial device” consumer fireworks.  Such a device, the size of a car battery, shoots 9 to 15 exploding rockets 100 feet straight up into the air.  It is one of the most dangerous types of consumer fireworks.

SB1377 – OPPOSE – Would exempt businesses from COVID-related liability except in cases with clear and convincing evidence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

SB1362 – OPPOSE – WENDY ROGERS – Would add medical students to the list of providers who can refuse to assist with abortion-related services.  There would be no protection for patients, not even in an emergency.

HB2404 – OPPOSEALSO SB1251 – OPPOSE – Would spend $3 million over two years on a statewide anti-abortion program.  The bill would fund a single, unregulated “crisis pregnancy center”, which would be specifically barred by law from providing prospective parents with all their options.

SB1381 – OPPOSE – WENDY ROGERS – Would ban ending a pregnancy on the basis of any disability of the fetus, even one incompatible with life.  A monstrous attack on families dealing with the imminent loss of a baby that has no hope of survival!

HB2261 – SUPPORT – WALTER BLACKMAN – Is a package of reforms for incarcerated women.  

RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP

HB2111 – OPPOSEalso SB1328 – OPPOSE – Would declare that any law that “violates the second amendment” to be null and void in Arizona.  The bill does not specify who would decide whether a law violates the constitution.  Clearly an attempt to just ignore Federal laws that the legislature doesn’t like.

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 fairs – even if asked to turn over their firearms for storage.

INFRASTRUCTURE

HB2436 – SUPPORT – Would tie gasoline taxes to inflation starting in July 2022.  Currently Arizona’s gas taxes haven’t increased since 1991 and are fixed with no adjustment for inflation.

HB2437 – SUPPORT – Would raise taxes for registering electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in order to fund road repair and maintenance.  

LGBTQ RIGHTS

HB2725 – OPPOSE – Would require state documents to identify people as either male or female.  

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

HB2165 – SUPPORT – creates home arrest program for inmates convicted of non-serious offenses sentenced at least 2 years, and having served one year, and is eligible for release within 4 years, to be on house arrest – reducing prison populations.

HB2320 – SUPPORT – outlines a process to petition the court to seal the record of a person’s arrest, conviction and sentence two years after they are discharged (having served their sentence). This seems like a good step towards helping to restore their rights, and is supported by the association of AZ criminal defense attorneys.

SB1303 – SUPPORT – education programs; county jails; appropriation – modifies qualifications for a prisoner to be enrolled in an education program to all under 21 w/o high school diploma or GED and appropriates $114,000 from GF for programs.

If you have questions about the Coconino Democrats Legislative Committe please reach out to Darrell Boomgaarden at 

If you need help troubleshooting RTS or have any technical difficulties please feel free to reach out to Kyle Nitschke at  or (480) 560-4652

Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.