Arizona legislature: The coming week

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

With the end of most significant committee work, most of the attention at the lege will now focus on the state’s budget.

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  On occasion, a really bad bill is withdrawn from consideration, but I cannot remember that one was actually defeated in this committee.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.

 

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona offers his perspective on the budget kerfluffle here.

For a somewhat different take, here is video from Channel 12’s Sunday Square Off with reporters Alia Beard Rau and Howie Fischer.

Having said all of that, and whether the state budget will be railroaded though this week (AZBlueMeanie) or it will take longer (Rau and Fischer), Monday will be almost entirely about the budget dog and pony show.

At 9:30 a.m., a special meeting of House Appropriations is scheduled for HHR1.

Originally scheduled to hear the nine bills of the Senate’s budget proposal (SB1485 – SB1493), now it is scheduled to hear the nine bills of the House’s budget proposal (HB2703 – HB2711).

Note: for some reason unknown to me, there is a second House Appropriations committee meeting scheduled to take place immediately after the first one.  That agenda includes two of the measures in the Senate’s budget package, but given that House Speaker Andy Tobin and Senate President Andy Biggs aren’t exactly known as close friends, I don’t expect much to happen there.  However, the two measures are also scheduled for House floor action, so it may be a situation where the House and Senate have already agreed on those measures but will be arguing about the others.

After Appropriations rubber stamps “considers” the bills, the House Rules committee will break out its own rubber stamp, setting the package up for floor consideration (the Rules agenda is a long one at 40+ items).

Which is also scheduled for Monday – COW1, COW2, COW3, Third Read.

To sum up:  Monday is shaping up to be one of the longest legislative days of the year.

 

Other activities:

House Appropriations will hold a “regular” meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in HHR1.  Among the bills on the agenda:  SB1237, expanding school vouchers “empowerment scholarship accounts” and  SB1365, Sen. Rick Murphy’s attack on CPS (and its employees) for daring to do its job in investigating complaints about him.

Senate Appropriations is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in SHR109.  The agenda is long, and as is standard practice for this time of year, the vast majority of the measures have nothing to do with Appropriations.  Lowlights –

HB2264, HB2272, and HB2276: Tax breaks for big businesses

– a striker to HB2343, creating a forest thinning program on state trust lands (this may or may not be a “good” measure, but since it is from Sen. Don Shooter, who isn’t known as a paragon of good governance, I’m leaning toward “not“).

– a striker to HB2414, also from Shooter, pertaining to “burdensome” public records requests.

– a striker to HB2462, also from Shooter, creating a program to build a “virtual” fence along the border with Mexico

HB2509, authorizing the state to enter into a “compact” with other states to criminalize health care exchanges

– SB1494 (not introduced yet, so no text available on the lege’s website), subject “district charter schools; governance; finance”.

   

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