Category Archives: Arizona State Legislature

Arizona loses on denying drivers licenses to DACA recipients

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the last-ditch plea by Attorney General Mark Brnovich to uphold a 2012 executive order by then-Gov. Jan Brewer to deny licenses to DACA recipients, an order current Gov. Doug Ducey has left in place. The justices gave no reason for their ruling. U.S. Supreme Court allows ‘Dreamers’ to drive:

Arizona’s “dreamers” will keep their licenses to drive – at least as long as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program remains in existence.

Monday’s ruling ends years of efforts by the state to claim that the decision by the Obama administration to allow those in the program to remain in this country and work does not mean they are “authorized” to be here.
That verbiage is significant.

It was shortly after the action by Obama that Brewer directed the state Department of Transportation to deny licenses to DACA recipients. She cited a 1996 Arizona law that says state licenses are available only to those whose presence in this country is “authorized by federal law.”

Brewer argued that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has no legal authority to permit DACA recipients to remain and work. And what that meant, Brewer said, is they were not “authorized” to be here.

That argument failed to persuade federal appellate judges who said Arizona cannot decide for itself who is legally entitled to be in the country. In fact, Judge Harry Pregerson wrote that the state policy “appears intended to express animus toward DACA recipients.”

With today’s high court action, that ruling is now final.

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Ducey & #AZLeg Debate Gun Violence Prevention Ideas

Arizona House Democrats

Arizona House Democrats call the Governor’s gun safety plan a “missed opportunity” at meaningful reform to curb gun violence and the loss of innocent lives.

Since the Parkland High School massacre a few weeks ago, students across the country have been demanding that elected officials do their jobs and protect them against gun violence in schools and other public places.

Last week, 75 students visited the Arizona Legislature and the Governor’s Tower to ask for legislation on universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and more counselors (not more guns) in schools.

Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey revealed his plan to tackle gun violence in Arizona. It nips around the edges of what students and others have been demanding on social media, in our Legislative email inboxes, and in the streets, but it falls short of meaningful reform. For example, Ducey’s plan does include a small amount of money for more school counselors. Currently, Arizona has a ratio of approximately 1:920 counselors to students. The national recommendation is 1:250. Ducey’s bill would add ~120 new counselors– far less than needed. As with the opioid bill, Ducey met with a small group of Republican and Democratic Legislators to compile this plan, but this time, Ducey didn’t include any of the Democrats’ ideas.  (Read the mainstream media’s take on  Ducey’s plan here or read the Blue Meanie’s take here.)

What else could be done in Arizona? Below the fold, you’ll find a list of Democratic bills that never got a hearing.

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Ducey’s plan: essentially the NRA plan, but with a twist

Our Koch-bot Governor Ducey announced his long-awaited plan for gun safety in our schools yesterday. It is essentially to “harden” schools with more people armed with guns on campus — exactly the opposite of what student activists are calling for — and to throw a little bit more money at school counselors. This is essentially the NRA plan, short of arming classroom teachers, which Ducey says he opposes.

Ducey’s plan does include a twist, likely to be opposed by gun rights absolutists like the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the NRA: Ducey is supporting a version of the severe threat order of protection to remove guns from individuals who pose a danger to themselves and to others. This is a much needed change in the law, and I applaud him for finally coming around to see the light on this issue.

But the question remains, however, how much influence will the governor have with extremist Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature to actually pass this STOP order provision? He will have Democratic votes for this provision and needs to bring along enough Tea-Publicans to form a majority in each chamber.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Ducey school-shooter proposal adds cops, mental-health services to campuses:

Gov. Doug Ducey proposed boosts to mental health services at schools, a greater law enforcement presence on school campuses and fixing some, but not all, loopholes in background checks on gun sales in response to a mass shooting a month ago in Florida.

Ducey’s plan, which he’ll need to convince the state Legislature to approve, focuses on school safety following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. It includes some new dollars to help pay for school psychiatrists, a program that would allow former cops to act as armed, volunteer security guards at schools, and an unspecified amount of state funding to help more schools hire school resource officers.

So far, this is in line with the NRA plan. But here is a twist:

It also provides an opportunity to have guns seized from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, a legal process Democrats in Arizona have been calling for all legislative session.

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(Update) March For Our Lives – Arizona

Acording to the March For Our Lives web site, the sanctioned “sibling” marches for Arizona this week are listed below. If there are any that I may have missed, please post the information about any additional march in the comments.


Safford Walk For Our Kids Lives
Wednesday, March 21, 10:00 AM
Public Rally
8490 South U.S. Highway 191
Safford, AZ 85546


March for Our Lives – Phoenix, AZ
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 AM
Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007


March for Our Lives – Tucson, AZ
Saturday, March 24, 11:00 AM
Jacome Plaza
115 N. Church Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

March for Our Lives
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 AM
Sahuarita High School
Desert Gem and Sahuarita Road
Sahuarita, AZ 85629

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Democrats Energized to Take Back Seats in Glendale’s LD20

A blue wave is cresting in American politics.

A blue wave is cresting in American politics.

An energetic field of progressive Democratic candidates in Glendale and Phoenix are running to oust right-wing, pro-NRA, anti-abortion incumbents in Republican-leaning legislative district 20.

AZ Senate

  • Douglas Ervin, a pilot and triathlete, is the former Chief Development Architect of AFS Technologies in Phoenix.
  • Larry Herrera is a Traffic Engineering Analyst for the City of Tempe. He ran for state Senate in 2016 but lost to Kimberly Yee.
  • Matthew Marquez is a Field Organizer for the state Democratic Party and is a precinct committeeman.

The Democrats are working to oust the noxious incumbent, Paul Boyer, a state representative running for Senate, who is endorsed by the NRA and Arizona Right to Life. Boyer is tied to the anti-consumer ALEC organization (American Legislative Exchange Council), which writes right-wing model statutes. Notoriously, Boyer supports school vouchers, opposed the expansion of Medicaid and supported legislation that would have legalized discrimination against gay people.

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Governor Ducey bends under pressure from student protestors

Wednesday’s National School Walkout event at the Arizona Capitol culminated in a two-hour sit-in at the office of Gov. Doug Ducey, who did not come out to meet with the students. Montini: Gov. Doug Ducey disses student protesters … lesson learned.

Gov. Ducey has said he is meeting with various interest groups – not high school students, obviously – and has promised to come up with his own legislative proposals, possibly as early as next week. The governor has hinted that could include something similar to Rep. Randy Friese’s bill on emergency seizure of weapons.

Emulating our Twitter-troll-in-chief, on Thursday Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey goes on tweetstorm over gun control, one day after student sit-in:

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that his plan to improve school safety in Arizona could include tighter gun laws in several areas, a surprising move for a Republican governor in a red state.

In a flurry of afternoon tweets, Ducey outlined what his office said will be the basic components of his plan. Ducey said he is working on a bipartisan bill to tackle the issue.

“We are building an aggressive plan that address all these issues around school safety,” he tweeted. “Arizona can lead the nation in tackling this — and in a way that is non-partisan. We’ve done this on other issues, and we can do it again.”

Ducey’s posts came less than 24 hours after students from the group March for Our Lives Phoenix staged a dramatic sit-in outside his office.

Ducey did not meet with the students, but has talked with other interest groups in recent weeks.

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