Thank God it’s Sine Die!

It really is a Good Friday! The meth lab of democracy is closed for business!

The Arizona Legislature, 52nd Legislature, First Regular Session
has adjourned Sine Die on April 3, 2015 at 3:34 A.M.

Lock the doors and board up the windows of the Capitol so that these lunatics cannot get back into the asylum and inflict any more damage on this state and its citizens than they have already done.

Here is just a brief summary of some of the bills  that we were watching that passed, and others that were left for dead upon sine die:

ObamacareHB 2643 – A Neo-Confederate dead-enders’ bill, the result of last year’s unconstitutional Nullification Proposition 122: “Prohibits the state and its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with the Affordable Care Act.” The sponsor, Teabagger Justin Olson (R-Mesa), says the purpose of his bill is to prevent the state from establishing its own ACA insurance exchange, presumably in response to the U.S. Supreme Court gutting the ACA by eliminating tax subsidies for plans on the federal exchange in King v. Burwell later this year, assuming this actually happens.

Contact Gov. Ducey and tell him to veto this ideological temper tantrum from Teabaggers.

I have previously recommended that the hospital associations and medical provider associations that supported Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan last year should be prepared to file a citizens initiative to establish a state-run ACA insurance exchange, which would supersede the stupidity of our Tea-Publican legislators, if passed by voters. If properly drafted, the state insurance exchange established could simply contract out to the federal exchange to run the Arizona exchange, and Voila! – problem solved. Or the hospitals and medical providers could refer HB 2643 to the ballot as a citizens referendum.

Confederale SoldiersThe Neo-Confederate states rights “land grab” bills passed. HB 2175, which asserts and claims rights-of-way across (federal) public lands, passed. HB 2176, “federal land relinquishment; payments,” which directs the state land commissioner to “request” that “all constitutionally nonenumerated federal land within this state through sale,” and directs the attorney general to “initiate proceedings against the United States in order to force the relinquishment of all remaining constitutionally nonenumerated federal land within this state to the state land trust,” passed on a near party-line vote. HB 2318, “transfer of public lands compact,” purporting to create an interstate compact for the transfer of (federal) public lands, passed on a party line vote. HB 2318 is patently unconstitutional and should be vetoed by Governor Ducey. HCM 2005, urging “the federal government to dispose of public lands in, and transfer title to, Arizona,” passed and has been transmitted to the Secretary of State to send to Congress. Not as dramatic as the South Carolina Declaration of Causes of Secession, but close enough.

Other Neo-Confederate “states’ rights” bills failed: HB 2368, “sovereign authority; executive orders; DOJ,” died without a final vote. HB 2058, a striker for “sovereign authority; federal rules; regulations,” failed without a final vote. HB 2321, “public lands; conveyance and taxation,” which demands that the United States government extinguish title to all public lands in and transfer title to the state of Arizona, died without a final vote. HB 2055, a striker for “sovereign authority; water; United States,” failed without a final vote. They probably just ran out of time.

False IdolsThe ammosexual gun fetishist and gun worshipper bills from the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the NRA: HB 2320, the annual “guns in public buildings” bill, failed on a 14-15 vote in the Senate a few days ago, and was not revived. Governor Jan Brewer previously vetoed this bill three times. HB 2431, “uniform firearms transfer compact,” failed without a final vote. SB 1330, “prohibited activities; second amendment violations,” a “nullification” bill that purports to nullify federal gun laws and to prohibit state and local agencies from enforcing federal gun laws, failed without a final vote. SB 1291, “state preemption” of local jurisdictions, received a final vote in the House, but it appears that the Senate adjourned before the bill could receive a conforming vote. However, HB 2527, another “state preemption” of local jurisdictions aimed at Tucson, was passed by the legislature and has been signed into law by Governor Ducey. Governor Signs Pro-Gun Bill. This was a surprisingly down year for the gun lobby.

Voting-RightsHB 2407 – Elections bill requiring “strict compliance” standard for the requirements for recalls and referendums, a major change from the “substantial compliance” standard for citizen initiatives and recalls in place since statehood, passed on a party-line vote. This bill would make it easy for hyper-technical errors, e.g., a misspelled word on a petition, or the margins are off a little (shrinkage due to using a copier), or a petition signature does not contain all the information that the law requires, to prevent a recall or referendum from qualifying for the ballot. Tea-Publicans in the legislature are making it much more difficult and costly for Arizonans to exercise their constitutional right to a citizens recall and referendum.

Contact Governor Ducey and tell him to veto this assault on your constitutional right to citizens recall and referendum. (Corrected).

If Governor Ducey signs this bill, HB 2407 should be the subject of a citizens referendum, (“citizens veto”).

HB 2608, which increases the required number of signatures for a third party candidate to qualify for the ballot, passed on a party-line vote. If you are a member of the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Americans Elect Party or an Independent, contact Governor Ducey and tell him to veto this bill.

Surprisingly, SB 1339, the so-called “ballot harvesting” bill which sought to criminalize voting rights activists who assist voters, died without a final vote.

Just as surprisingly, SCR 1001, the annual attempt to repeal Citizens Clean Elections by sending a deceptive ballot measure to the ballot also died without a final vote. Trust me, this annual bill from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Goldwater Institute will be back in January.

Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature finally pulled their heads out of their ass at the last minute to pass HB 2609, the Real ID Act that will provide Arizonans with a driver’s license which complies with the federal Real ID Act to allow you to board an airplane or to enter a federally operated facility. This legislation makes acquiring a Real ID-compliant license optional, with applicants having to pay an additional $15 fee.

Il Duce’s “secret police,” aka inspector general bill, HB2420, failed to get a final vote. The legislature claims it wants to study the idea further.

education_appleCommon Core Repeal – HB 2190, several attempts to repeal Common Core academic standards died in the Senate, just as it did last year.

Standardized Testing Opt-out – HB 2246, failed on a 15-15 tie vote on a motion for reconsideration after a failed vote in the Senate Thursday night.

Remember the “constitutional crisis” in February between Superintendent of Public Instruction Dianne Douglas and Governor Doug Ducey over who has the authority to hire and fire employees of the Board of Education? Yeah, the legislature failed to pass HB 2184 to resolve the dispute, because the anti-Common Core crowd was not happy with it. Not much of a “constitutional crisis.”

SB 1172 – the school board “gag order” bill to keep school board members from criticizing the Arizona Legislature or Governor Ducey to the teachers and parents they represent, died without a final vote.

SB 1419 – the “Circle K bill” to eliminate the 300 foot buffer required between grocery stores that sell liquor and churches and schools – made necessary only because the Arizona legislature gives special preference to private charter schools that locate in commercial strip malls and to store front churches in commercial strip malls – died without a final vote. Circle K should use the Coming to the Nuisance Doctrine to argue that “we were here first,” and in property law, these store front charter schools and churches have no right to complain and to force Circle K to discontinue its business.

The so-called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts aka “school vouchers” for private and parochial schools, mostly died, but SB 1332 – Empowerment Scholarship Accounts for reservation residents passed. No doubt, this was another quid pro quo for Sen. Carlyle Begay (D-Ganado) having given Governor Ducey the votes he needed to pass his draconian budget in the Senate. 30 pieces of silver to Judas on Good Friday. Awesome!

SB 1241 – “Big Brother” Tea-Publicans at the state capitol nullified local government control, yet again, for ordinances regulating plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam containers – most recycling service providers do not accept plastic bags in curbside recycling programs – because “freedom!

The state does not operate landfills, counties and cities do. Local governments  know best the operational needs of waste management. Here’s a novel idea: if Teabaggers want to keep their precious plastic bags, then require manufacturers to make the bags out of fully recyclable materials. Duh! Of course, “free market” Teabaggers are opposed to all government regulations, except of course those regulating your lady parts and your sex life. And local jurisdictions with which they disagree.

For more on the legislative wrap-up, The Republic’s Laurie Roberts has a nice summary today. Breathe, Arizona. The Legislature has left the building!:

The Arizona Legislature, 2015.0, is a wrap.

De-Kook the CapitolAs fright shows go, it was short, startling, slightly scary and something voters should remember in 515 days, when our leaders next face us at the polls.

Circle that day: Aug 30, 2016 is the primary election when most of our leaders are chosen.

Circle it and remember what this Legislature did this year….

You are first going to have to deliver those “mythical moderate Republicans” that you keep promising us, Ms. Roberts. We are still waiting . . .

3 responses to “Thank God it’s Sine Die!

  1. I agree. Thanks Bob Lord for this reality touch stone.

    I commented some time ago about the Land Grab legislation. I see Think Progress has a new piece on the actors behind the scenes on this kookery and fuc*ery.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/06/3643232/berman-front-group-op-eds-on-public-lands/

    Too many Inofe-Repulsficans are so wrong one so many things. I’m a native, and I’m tired of being associated with such stupid BHC-types simply because of my zip code.

    I am pleased Gov. Dulcey may veto any bill that suggests Arizona governments can manage federal lands better…..as if we even had the resources. I’m also happy to see SRP oppose this stupidity. I wrong, one right.
    I’m happy Common Core survived, even with the leeway granted.

    and as reminder to a former post, I reiterate:

    A super-majority of Arizonan’s are adamant about their beliefs that Congressional powers protecting national forests, parks, air quality, land use and waters of the US, all of which have no respect for state boundaries, is in the national interest, so long as it is applied uniformly across the entire nation. The Rocky Mountains traverse several states, connecting all manner of ecology.
    In a review by Tom Downey of Internal Improvement by John Lauritz Larson, 2001, Larson’s narrative promises to become a touchstone of debate among historians for some time to come. Downey writes:
    Larson reserves his greatest disappointment for the American people who demanded so much from their government and leaders, but who were willing to sacrifice so little in order to attain their desires. By the time they found themselves being ridden and consolidated by the visible hand of private enterprise, “the people” simultaneously discovered that their best defense against unchecked corporate power–a strong national government–had been emasculated by their embrace of free competition and laissez-faire a generation before. Republican virtue had been lacking not only among political leaders, but among those that elected them as well.
    At the time of our founder’s debate of “narrow” and “loose” construction interpretations of the General Welfare Clause, there was zero, nada, null national awareness of environmental protection and the valuation and regard for what we now refer to as “environmental services.” But back then, and even only 100 years ago,railroad companies, for example, could not tolerate herds of bison stalling their scheduled trips.

  2. Bobbie Howard

    I just want to thank you and everyone at this blog for writing these great and informative posts. Sometimes when I think I’m going to go completely insane by these idiots and bigots, seeing a great (or funny) and helpful blog really helps me off to back off the ledge.
    Thanks so much. I appreciate your being there for us sane people.

  3. Frances Perkins

    Every year you swear the legislature cant get worse, and they do. We may look back with nostalgia on Jan Brewer, after the Koch Brother slave is done destroying the State. Burton Barr where are you?