Arizona Legislature: The Coming Week

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

 

The full moon isn't going to happen until Friday night, but the "bay at the moon" crowd will be in full throat by early Monday afternoon…  

 

Notes:

All committees meetings and agendas are subject to change without notice, and frequently do.  If you plan to travel to the Capitol to observe or weigh in on the consideration of a particular measure, check with the lege ahead of time to confirm that the meeting that you are interesting in is still on schedule and your item(s) of interest is still on the agenda for that meeting.

Meeting rooms designated "HHR" are in the House of Representatives building.

Meeting rooms designated "SHR" are in the Senate building.

Some agendas are summarized as "looks harmless", but if they cover an area of interest to you, examine the agenda and the bills on it.  If I missed something significant, please leave a comment letting me know.

The agendas that seem to be the "worst of the worst" are bolded.

 

All House committee agendas can be found here.

All Senate committee agendas can be found here.

 

On the Senate side of the Capitol –

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Senate Caucus Room 1.  Rubber stamp, but the agenda serves as a warning that some very bad bills will be up for floor votes in the near future.

Judiciary, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  "Highlights" of the agenda: SB1270, repealing the voter suppression omnibus bill passed last session, not because it's a bad bill (and law), which it is, but because the lege's Rs want to obviate the petition drive that put that particular measure on the ballot coming up in November.  Once that is done, they've already admitted their intent to passed the measures contained in the original bill again, just individually, making in prohibitively difficult and expensive for opponents to put the issue before the voters; SB1294, declaring any federal laws, regulations, that violate the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution to be null and void.  It doesn't specify who gets decide what exactly constitutes a "violation", but I'm guess it won't be the judges who already consider such things; SCR1011, proposing an amendment to the Arizona Constitution to expand privacy protections (this one doesn't seem too bad on the face of things, but it's from Sen. Don "Tequila" Shooter, so there is probably some serious ugly in it that I can't see at this moment).

Government and Environment, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  On the agenda: SB1096, another "gold as legal tender for debts" bill; SB1183, barring municipalities and counties from adopting any ordinance, rule, or other legal requirement that one or two family structures, or specified other structures, on a "fire access road" install sprinklers; SB1227, barring municipalities and counties from adopting "green" building codes; and SCR1022, politely (by the standards of the AZLege, anyway) advising the EPA that it should leave pollution regulation and remediation in the hands of the people who know best, state legislators.

Note: AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona has a summary of Monday's planned activities at the Senate.

Transportation, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  Looks harmless so far.

Elections, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR1. On the agenda: SCR1003, a proposed amendment to the AZ Constitution to require that all voter-enacted measures that affect state revenues or expenditures be reauthorized every 8 years.  Think of it as the people at the legislature who have professed their hatred of recall elections for legislators trying to establish an automatic recall election for voter-enacted measures.

Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  On the agenda: SB1315, the annual proposal to take the power to allocate federal block grants in AZ away from the governor and give it to the legislature.  For some reason, no previous governor has signed this one into law.  Can't understand why not 🙂 ; SB1236 and SB1237, all about expanding and entrenching school vouchers "Empowerment Scholarship Accounts"; SB1212, appropriating $250K to the AZ Attorney General for litigation related to the feds' Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.

Natural Resources and Rural Affairs, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR109.  Looks harmless so far.

Commerce, Energy, and Military, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  Looks harmless so far.

Public Safety, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  On the agenda: SB1290, requiring that federal-level law enforcement agents ask permission from a county's sheriff before conducting a search, seizure, or arrest in that sheriff's county.

Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: SB1296, SB1297, and SB1298, micromanaging the health care of AHCCCS patients; SB1308, requiring health care "navigators" (related to the Affordable Care Act) to register with the state.

Finance, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  On the agenda: SB1182, micromanaging school bond elections; SB1351, increasing legislative control over the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District in Tucson.  There are also a number of very technical bills on this agenda that I do not understand well enough to evaluate them.

Education, Thursday, 8:30 a.m., SHR1.  On the agenda:  SB1092, a proposal by anti-public education legislators to mess with K-12 public education finance; SB1100, requiring public school districts to sell "unused" or "underused" buildings to charter or private schools; SB1228, micromanaging the state's higher education entities, including prohibiting the admission of any student who may need remedial studies in any subject in order to qualify.  Given the way that the lege is constantly attacking the effectiveness of public K-12 education in AZ, this bill could conceivably result in Arizona students not being able to be admitted to Arizona's state higher education system; SB1229, creating a voucher system for higher education to siphon public money away from public institutions; SB1311, allowing school districts the "option" of privatizing school bus routes (prediction: this measure passes this session, mostly because "optional" doesn't seem bad, but next session, "optional" will be replaced by "shall").

 

On the House side of the Capitol:

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4.  Rubber stamp, mostly serves as a preview of upcoming floor calendars.

Ways and Means, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: HB2174, making any federal tax penalty paid by a taxpayer in relation to failure to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act a deduction on the taxpayer's state income tax; HB2281, reclassifying, for tax purposes, property that is leased by a religious entity, and under certain circumstances, exempting such property from taxation; a striker to HB2285, creating some new exemptions to Arizona's transaction privilege tax (aka – "sales tax").  The big one is exempting the sale of coal to a refiner by a power plant and back again after refining; HB2291, expanding school vouchers "Empowerment Scholarship Accounts".

Financial Institutions, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR5.  Looks harmless so far.

Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  Looks harmless so far.

Education, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3.  Looks harmless, but one to keep an eye on: HB2180, appropriating $5 million dollars for the creation of an information technology education and certification program at the K-12 level.  The bill mandates the use of "at least one" private vendor to supply materials and resources.  Probably merits a closer look at the campaign finance reports of the sponsors, which may show ties between a company that would benefit from this bill's passage and one or more sponsors.

Insurance and Retirement, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR3.  On the agenda: HB2060, giving the legislature more control over the governing board of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).  The measure failed to gain committee approval last week; HB2069, declaring that new employees of any of the state's political subdivisions (municipalities, counties, etc.) are ineligible for membership in the public employee retirement system.  There are also some bills on this agenda where I don't understand the impact well enough to evaluate them.

Government, Tuesday, 2 p.m, HHR4.  On the agenda: HB2513, creating a privatized audit of AHCCCS payments.  The language in the bill is so broadly-drawn that a company receiving a contract under the provisions contained in this bill may view it as winning the lottery.

Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  Currently, the agenda has four bills, all dog-whistle specials for the bay at the moon crowd (OK, HB2385 is more "bad" than "bay", but it's close).

Agriculture and Water, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR5.  On the agenda: HB2587, a bill creating a "gag" rule regarding animal cruelty.  The Animal Defense League of Arizona has more information here.

Public Safety, Military, and Regulatory Affairs, Wednesday, 9 a.m., HHR3.  The agenda looks to be mostly harmless, but HB2541, authorizing the state or a city or town to access federal land in the event of an emergency, but not actually specifying the definition of an "emergency", may inspire some laughter in the halls of more than a few federal departments and agencies.

Higher Education and Workforce Development, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR1.  One bill on the agenda, and it's actually a good one: HB2527, which would repeal a law passed in 2010 which allows Maricopa County to add two "at-large" members to the governing board of its community college district governing board.  The original measure was crafted to add some tea party types to the Maricopa County Community College District's governing board, which is known for having members, even some of the Republican members, who don't revile public education.

Health, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR4.  Presentations only, at this time.

Commerce, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR5.  Seems harmless so far.

Appropriations, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: HB2276, granting a major tax break to the insurance industry in the form of a cut to the state's tax on revenue from insurance premiums.  Passed the Insurance and Retirement committee on a party-line vote.

Transportation, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR3.  Seems harmless so far.

Technology and Infrastructure, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR5.  One bill on the agenda as of this writing: HB2554, the lege's annual shot across the bow/bully move aimed at the Arizona Capitol Times.  The weekly that covers the state's capital and environs earns a significant portion of its annual revenue from the publication of legal notices, such as articles of incorporation.  This particular bill would create an online database administered by the Arizona Corporation Commission and remove the requirement that articles of incorporation be published in a newspaper.

Reform and Human Services, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1.  Looks harmless so far.

Judiciary, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR4.  Looks harmless so far.

 

Legislative floor calendars can be found here.

The lege's calendar of events for the week is here.

AZ Department of Administration meeting public notices are here

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