By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
This week’s theme: Return of the Living Dead, aka: ” ‘dead’ doesn’t mean ‘dead’ until ‘Sine Die’ “.
Note: “Sine Die” is a Latin-sounding way for the lege to say “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”
The “insider baseball” observation of the week: the Senate’s Rules committee will consider a slew of bills that originated in the other chamber, meaning floor activity will soon be focused on bills that are up for final passage, not just chamber passage. House Rules doesn’t have an agenda posted as of this writing.
The usual notes and caveats:
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.
Floor calendars that have been posted have been included in this post. However, those calendars are usually posted the day before they are considered. Hence, only Monday’s floor calendars are part of this post.
COW sessions, or “Committee of the Whole”, is where actual floor debate takes place, where floor amendments to bills are added, and amendments added to bills in committee are approved.
Third Read sessions are where a bill receives a final vote. No amendments are added here, and no official debate takes place, though there is a lot of “explaining” of votes during Third Read.
Measures that are going before a chamber’s Rules committee are not up for debate on the merits of the measures. The only subjects being considered is if the bill on the agenda is constitutional and in “proper form”. If a bill is on this agenda, chamber leadership has already decided that it is going to pass. On occasion, a really bad bill is withdrawn from consideration, but I cannot remember that one was actually defeated in this committee. Rules committee agendas serve best as an informal preview of what’s coming up in floor action.
Meeting rooms designated “HHR” are in the House of Representatives building.
Meeting rooms designated “SHR” are in the Senate building.
All House committee agendas can be found here.
All Senate committee agendas can be found here.
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.
Some of the bills that are moving this week:
– HCR2018, a proposal to amend the Arizona Constitution so that any ballot initiative or referendum that affects state revenues or expenditures is valid for only eight years after which it must be reauthorized (Senate Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109)
– HB2284, an anti-choice bill with many toxic clauses. The highest-profile provision would allow for unannounced inspections of abortion clinics (Senate Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1)
– HB2122, a special interest bill benefiting elected officials. Would allow former electeds who were previously part of the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan (a defined benefit, or “pension”, plan) to reenter the Plan if they win office again. New electeds cannot be part of that plan; they must enter a “defined contribution, or “dog food”, plan (Senate Finance, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3)
– HB2115, a Republican attack on the unemployed. This one proposes to expand the definition of “severance pay”, negatively impacting someone’s eligibility for unemployment insurance payments, to include any money paid to someone as a result of the cessation of their employment, including money paid for agreeing not to sue an employer (Senate Commerce, Energy, and Military, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1)
– HB2150, an “Awwww, shucks” anti-public education bill. This one would make the families of military members eligible for school vouchers “empowerment scholarships” (Senate Education, Thursday, 10:30 a.m., SHR1)
– SB1211, allowing the AZ Department of Agriculture and “livestock operators” to kill Mexican wolves, under certain circumstances, and imposing reporting requirements on the reintroduction of Mexican wolves into the wild in AZ (House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4)
– SB1212, appropriating $250K to the AZ Attorney General’s office to pay for litigation against the reintroduction of Mexican wolves into Arizona (House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources)
– SCR1006, a resolution using many words to state that the legislature doesn’t like Mexican wolves. What a surprise (House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources)
– SB1182, imposing requirements related to information pamphlets for public school district bond and override elections (House Education, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3)
– SB1237, one of this week’s living dead bills. A measure designed to expand school vouchers “empowerment scholarship accounts”. It failed in the same committee last week, but it’s been brought back for a return engagement. If it fails again, expect it to be reincarnated as a striker (House Education)
– HB2092, the other living dead bill. It authorizes the continuation of the Arizona Department of Environment Quality, another “living dead” bill. It failed on a 3 – 4 after the Republicans on the committee amended the reauthorization period down from the proposed 10 years to 5 years. The three Democrats on the committee voted against the shorter time frame; the fourth “no” vote was cast by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-LD6). While he isn’t normally “on the side of the angels”, he was right on this one. Since the same “10 years down to 5” amendment has been proposed for consideration this week, he’s probably had his arm seriously twisted over this one (if the amendment proposed a term longer than 5 years, one could presume that they were going after D votes. No such amendment is posted…) (Senate Government and Environment, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3)
– SB1096, gold as legal tender (House Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR1)
– SB1478, creating a “water protection program” that is dedicated to protect AZ’s water supply by targeting “high water usage” trees like mesquite and tamarisk for extermination (House Agriculture and Water, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR5)
– HB2316, barring the state from adopting any federal education standards (House Third Read, Monday)
– HB2103, expanding eligibility for concealed weapons permits (House COW, Monday)
– HB2291, another bill expanding school vouchers “empowerment scholarship accounts” (House COW, Monday)
– HB2587, an “ag-gag” bill (House COW, Monday)
– HB2333, utilizing monies from the Medical Marijuana Fund to pay for anti-marijuana propaganda “education” (House COW, Monday)
– HB2700.an anti-federal government measure, this one related to federal acquisition of land in Arizona (House COW, Monday)
– HB2699, barring the state from participating in any activities related to the federal Endangered Species Act (House COW, Monday)
– SB1389, another bill proposing to use money from the Medical Marijuana Fund to pay for anti-marijuana propaganda “education” (Senate Third Read, Monday)
– SB1063, mandating that for it to be illegal for someone to possess a weapon at a public event or facility, said event or facility would have to provide a secure storage facility for such weapons (Senate COW, Monday)
– SCR1003, a proposal to amend the Arizona Constitution so that any ballot initiative or referendum that affects state revenues or expenditures is valid for only eight years after which it must be reauthorized (Senate COW, Monday)
– SCR1016, a “red meat for the base” resolution, declaring that the legislature supports dedicating a week during the next session of the legislature as “limiting government week”. During that week, they would consider (and presumably approve) measures that would “reduce regulations and limit the size and cost of the state government” (Senate COW, Monday)