Legislative UPDATE from Sandy Bahr from the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter
This week, the last week to hear bills in committee in the house of origin, is referred to as “hell week,” due to the super long agendas with long lists of bills and strike-everything amendments and the meetings that drag into the night. While there was time to hear a plethora of bad water bills in the Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee, there was no time to even consider ecological water. In fact, many good bills went in the dustbin this week — ecological water, voters’ bill of rights, Equal Rights Amendment, reversing the ban on bans of plastic bags, banning fracking, climate resolutions, and more. While these important bills are dead in their current form, the Sierra Club is not giving up and will continue to look for ways to amend them on to other bills and have our voices heard. Meanwhile, we will also focus on a few of the good ones that got through the first part of the process and on stopping the ones that roll back protections, suppress votes, and make it more difficult to qualify a citizen initiative.
HB2111 S/E water supply; adequacy; exemptions (Griffin) allows counties such as Cochise and Yuma that have adopted water adequacy provisions for subdivisions to rescind them unanimously. If they rescind them, they cannot readopt them for five years. This is likely to result in ever more harm to the San Pedro River due to excessive groundwater pumping and will weaken the limited protections for consumers.
There are three bills being heard in the House Appropriations Committee Monday morning at 8 a.m. This is an opportunity to weigh in on Request to Speak and leave a comment that becomes part of the public record.
REQUEST TO SPEAK OPPORTUNITY
Monday, February 25th, House Committee on Appropriations at 8:00 AM
HB2590 appropriation; water districts; infrastructure; DCP (Cook: Blackman, Campbell, et al.) appropriates $20 million for Pinal County agricultural and development interests to pay for infrastructure to pump more groundwater. OPPOSE.
HB2591 WQARF; appropriation (Gabaldon) appropriates $20 million for the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund to assess and clean up contaminated sites. Too bad we cannot do more to make the polluters pay, but we do need to get this cleaned up. SUPPORT.
HB2701 state parks; lottery; heritage fund (Osborne: Cano, Cobb, et al.) establishes the state parks lottery fund for trails, historic preservation, local parks, etc. and appropriates $10 million from the Arizona Lottery. SUPPORT.
To set up a Request to Speak account, just select Request to Speak, then select “Create An Account” and fill out the information. You will need to go to the Capitol or to the Tucson legislative offices to activate it or you can contact Sandy Bahr and she will help you activate it.
Sandy Bahr at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a short YouTube video on how to set up an account.