Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
It has been a very bad week in Arizona. The radical extremist Tea-Publican legislature went batshit crazy in the waning hours of the session. I will try to recap from news sources as best I can. This is not a complete list of bills passed before sine die.
The Tea-Publican legislature refused to fix Arizona's unemployment compensation statute with a one word amendment, asserting there was not enough time. Arizona legislative session wraps up. "Lawmakers rejected pleas from Democrats to allow up to 20,000 Arizonans to extend their unemployment benefits into October; they will now expire in late May."
The House completed legislative action on a temporary tax increase for employers designed to help the state repay borrowed funds for unemployment benefits. Arizona Capitol Times » House OKs tax hike for unemployment benefits. The so-called "special assessment" would be levied for two years, and supporters said it would help the state avoid having federal officials impose a larger tax hike. Because that is really what is important, isn't it?
The Tea-Publican legislature did have time, however, to designate "Arizona" by Rex Allen Jr. as the state centennial song. What?? Why not Mark Lindsay's "Arizona"? And they had time to approve 10 new specialty license plates, SB 1402, which includes the "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden Flag (there are some hinky funding provisions related to this license plate), SB 1262 an Arizona Centennial license plate, designate an official state holiday for Statehood Day, HB 2700, and designate an official state gun, the Colt single-action Army revolver, SB 1610. Arizona legislative session wraps up. Dante will have to create a new ring in hell for these Tea-Publicans.
Action Alert: Everyone needs to call and e-mail the Governor's office immediately urging a veto of this truly destructive bill. "Son of TABOR," HB 2707, was approved late Tuesday and sent to Gov. Jan Brewer. This bill would allow state government to increase its spending only for population growth and inflation. It would start with a spending level that is comparatively low now because of the Great Recession's hit on revenue. Ariz. Legislature OKs new limit on state spending. The bill is roughly modeled on Colorado's constitutional amendment known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Opponents said starting the new limit at the current level of spending would doom Arizona to mediocrity. "It will prevent us from rebounding from the crisis," said Democratic Rep. Chad Campbell of Phoenix.
You sould also be calling and e-mailing the Governor's office to veto the "omnibus gun law," SB 1201, which requires guns to be allowed in public facilities owned or used by a public agency unless the government agency secures the facility with metal detectors and armed guards. Brewer has until Thursday to act on the bill, or to allow it to become law without her signature.
[UPDATE: Call Gov. Brewer at 1-(800) 253-0883. (It's toll-free!) Or visit her Web page to leave a comment.]
The Tea-Publican war against Pima County and the City of Tucson continues. Sen. Frank Antenori's "hippie punching" bills were approved:
SB 1333 Changes the rules for a city or town to incorporate. This is so Frank can incorporate his "town" of Vail without the approval of the City of Tucson. This bill largely impacts the City of Tucson.
SB 1332 Requires Phoenix and Tucson to bid out any and all city services valued at $500,000 or more. This ideological bill is fiscally inefficient.
SB 1525 Changes how cities can collect developer impact fees. A sop to Frank's developer campaign contributors.
HB 2067 Forbids the Arizona Board of Regents from exercising any authority over the nonprofit that governs the hospital affiliated with the University of Arizona for 18 months.
There was some late changes made in the closing hours of the legislative session to reverse an earlier decision by "King" Russell Pearce to exclude Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik from a share of the state's Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission Fund. Political Insider – Dupnik gains, Babeu loses in last-minute bills. The investigative reports by the Arizona Daily Star and The Arizona Republic proving that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is a liar when it comes to immigration enforcement had an effect. Still, "King" Russell Pearce managed to set up a million dollar slush fund for his "sweet Babeu" with SB 1398 which allocates $1 million to Pinal County. The money will come from a fund that will be fed by a new $13 assessment on criminal and civil traffic fines.
Sen. Frank Antenori also managed to get his "huntin' varmints in your backyard" bill passed, SB 1334, which prohibits a city, town or county from limiting hunting within its limits during hunting season; it does allow local governments to ban shooting within a quarter mile of an occupied structure. Already signed into law is HB 2623 which specifies that entering private property to hunt is only criminal trespassing if there are "no trespassing" signs posted or the person ignores an owner's request that they leave. Buy your "no hunting" and "no tresspassing" signs today if you want to keep Frank from hunting varmints in your backyard.
Another noxious bill from Rep. John Kavanagh, HB 2230, will require the state to remove nearly a dozen panels from the 9/11 memorial because Kavanagh personally objects to the panels. Then he should personally pay the expense for his witch hunt against the 9/11 memorial. Instead, donations are to be used to rebuild the memorial. What an asshole.
The anti-government Birchers and Secessionists got some of their bills passed as well. They are unconstitutional and will be subject to legal challenges, but what the hey, "we're standing up for 'states rights' aginst the federal guvmint."
SB 1546 Permits the state to acquire federal property through eminent domain unless the property was acquired by the federal government with the consent of the Arizona Legislature (or consists of land held by a federally recognized Indian tribe). This is unconstituional.
SB 1088 Directs the governor to enter into an Interstate Health Care Freedom Compact with other states. This is similar to the bill Gov. Brewer vetoed earlier this week.
SB1406 Allows the Governor to enter into an interstate compact to create a border fence along the Arizona-Mexico borderline located on private property, paid for by donations.
SB 1495 Allows the governor to establish the Arizona state guard, i.e., the "Republican Guard," for any reason the governor considers necessary. Nothing like having your own personal militia.
Other bills rushed through the final hours of the legislature:
HB 2577 Gives the Legislature authority to distribute federal funds instead of the governor. A certain veto.
SB 1499 The probate court omnibus bill. Read about it Arizona lawmakers OK bills that would reform Probate Court. A companion piece of legislation also passed by the Legislature Tuesday creates a legislative-review panel that takes citizen complaints about Probate Court and makes an annual report to the governor and other state officials.
SB 1187 Would allow either party in a divorce to ask a judge to extend the 60-day process to up to 120 days. The judge could deny the extension if either party has a good cause objection, including domestic violence. (Originally failed in the Senate but was brought back for reconsideration Tuesday and passed.)
HB 2645 Permits a mentally ill person who was prohibited from possessing a firearm and has been rehabilitated to petition the court to have their right to own a firearm restored. Seriously?
SB 1283 Prohibits a court from changing someone's parental rights to his or her children while they are deployed in the military; allows a deployed parent to testify electronically.
SB 1080 Makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally make a false child abuse or neglect report to a social worker who is required by law to report the information.
SB 1200 Makes numerous changes to DUI laws, including reducing the time a first-time non-extreme DUI offender must have a vehicle interlock device on his or her vehicle to 6 months from 12 months if the person completes an alcohol education program and meets other requirements.
SB 1225 Makes it a class 3 felony to use forgery to purchase, lease or rent a dwelling used as a drop house.
HB 2397 Allows mineral exploration permits on state trust lands that have been closed by the state land commissioner.
HB 2541 Allows employers to take action against employees who are believed to be impaired at work due to prescribed, illegal or synthetic drug use; permits an employer to use the medical marijuana verification system to verify an employee's registry identification card.
HB 2706 Directs the State Board of Education to adopt guidelines to include supplementary training in reading instruction for K-3 teachers in under-performing schools.
HB 2219 Establishes a joint legislative study committee on school district unification and consolidation which will develop proposed 2012 legislation. This passes every couple of years and always goes nowhere.
SB 1186 Makes changes to conform Arizona's tax code with provisions in new laws. Includes a provision that allows for increased contributions to school-tuition organizations by permitting a person to claim a tax credit under the individual credit, as well as up to a $250 donation for the corporate tax credit,or $500 for a married couple filing jointly. This is a revised version of HB 2581 vetoed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer. Read about it. Political Insider – Legislature makes second run at bigger STO contributions.
SB 1379 Forbids a local government from banning the sale or use of permissible consumer fireworks from June 15 through July 5, Dec. 12-31 or Jan. 1-2; allows a city or county to charge fireworks sales facilities a fee. It wouldn't be the Arizona Legislature without a fireworks bill, would it?
There are a number of other bills related to Home Owners Associations, renters, political campaign signs, etc. that I am not including here due to space. Maybe Craig will do a complete run-down.
h/t to The Arizona Republic, the Arizona Capitol Times, and the East Valley Tribune.