COCONINO COUNTY DEMOCRATS ARIZONA LEGISLATIVE ALERT
June 19, 2023
The Arizona Legislature has been in session now, longer than any previous legislature. It came back into “active” presence this past week for a couple of days and has adjourned again until July 31! This is their fifth extended recess this session. While these lawmakers are in recess they still receive per diem allowances even if they don’t go to the
capital at all. One journalist, Brahm Resnik, calculated that this will cost Arizona taxpayers $400,000 this session. The Prop 400 (sales tax extension for transportation funding) saga for Maricopa County continues. Republicans seem to hate any spending anything on light rail for some reason. They worked on some modified legislation to move Prop 400
forward but its is likely to be vetoed by the Governor. This obviously impacts Maricopa County but it also will impact all of Arizona as other counties compete with Maricopa for federal transportation dollars if Prop 400 doesn’t get approved. This fiasco has one upside benefit. It serves to highlight the glaring fact that our state desperately needs a more
reasonable legislature. Mayors in Maricopa County and business leaders are being pushed into action to help change the makeup of our legislature. Maybe we’ll flip this legislature after all.
In the two days the Legislature was in session this past week they did pass two Ballot referrals. One with HCR 2039 will ask the voters to restrict the Governor’s emergency powers – something that could put federal relief funding at risk. The second Ballot referral was SCR 1015 which is terrible. It is the brain child of the Goldwater Institute and the anti-
initiative Arizona Chamber of Commerce. This measure will ask the voters to amend the constitution to further limit (and probably destroy) citizen initiated ballot measures. It would require ballot initiatives to get a percentage of voters from ALL Legislative Districts, 10% for initiatives and 15% for constitutional amendments. This would allow the most
extreme areas of our state to veto measures that have broad state-wide support. As ballot measures, these are not eligible for vetoes by the Governor. These measures will be a real challenge for us in 2024.
The Governor continues her veto epic adventure this week as well. She vetoed, among others, SB 1611 which was a serious anti ESG bill that would ban companies from doing business with government unless they promised to NOT have any ESG (Environmental, Social or Governance) criteria in the management of their companies.
According to the Arizona Mirror a flag flown by extremists and Christian Nationalists has appeared in another location in the Legislative area. This flag is white with a pine tree on it and the phrase “An Appeal to Heaven” on it. According to Jeanne Casteen, Executive Director of Secular Coalition of Arizona, “Though this was originally a revolutionary war flag, it’s been co-opted by white Christian nationalists, and was prevalent in DC on January 6 th , 2021. To deny this is willful ignorance. One’s governance should not be based on biblical principles or any other religious principles. The Constitution should guide one’s governance, and this flag is a signal that notifies people that any elected official who
displays it will push evangelical extremism and the will of the few over what’s needed for the Common Good.” The new location is on a security desk in the Senate chambers located so as to not be visible to the public. Surprise Representative Janae Shamp also displays this flag on her desk.
The Legislature this past week did censure Representative Stephanie Stahl-Hamilton for her hiding bibles in the members lounge in April. She had apologized for her demonstration of her belief that there should be a separation of church and state in our government – a fact that is supported in the constitution. The attempt to expel her failed but the censure succeeded. It succeeded because the Republicans made it a motion instead of a resolution. Passage of motions only require a majority of members present and two Democrats were absent. If you haven’t already, you may want to show your support for Representative Stahl-Hamilton at or to 601-926-3279.
Here is the contact information for our Legislators:
LD 1 – Ken Bennett 602-926-5874
LD 7 – Wendy Rogers 602-926-3042
LD 6 – Theresa Hatathlie 602-926-5160
President Warren Petersen 602-926-4136
Majority Ldr Sonny Borrelli 602-926-5031
Minority Ldr Denise Epstein 602-926-4870
LD 1 – Selina Bliss 602-926-4018
LD 1 – Quang Nguyen 602-926-3258
LD 7 – David Cook 602-926-5162
LD 7 – David Marshall 602-926-3579
LD 6 – Mae Peshlakai 602-926-3708
LD 6 – Myron Tsosie 602-926-3157
Speaker Ben Toma 602-926-3298
Majority Ldr Leo Biasiucci 602-926-3018
Minority Ldr Andres Cano 602-926-3027
E-Mail Contact for Governor Katie Hobbs:
E-Mail Contacts for Governor Hobbs Staff: