By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
…It’s a “bring your own popcorn” week at the Capitol as the neo-secessionists, gun nuts, and propagandist types will be out in force this week…
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.
On the Senate side of the Capitol –
Natural Resources, Monday, 9 a.m., SHR109. On the agenda: a striker to SB1041, expanding off-track betting on races; SB1386, making it a felony for anyone (including the federal government) to transport to and release into an area an endangered species unless specifically authorized by state or federal law (this proposal seems to be targeted at the possible introduction of endangered species into areas that one or another corporation want to develop); SCR1015, a proposed amendment to Arizona’s constitution barring the federal agency or official from enforcing any regulation that affects “nonnavigable, intrastate waters or waterways” in Arizona.
State Debt and Budget Reform, Monday, 10 a.m., SHR3. Short agenda, and I would characterize it as “looks harmless”, but I don’t completely understand the potential real world impact of the bill proposals.
Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Caucus Room 1. Long agenda, some bad bills, to be rubberstamped on their way to floor consideration.
Commerce and Workforce Development, Monday. 1:45 p.m., SHR1. On the agenda: a striker to SB1118, stating that standard car insurance doesn’t cover situations where a vehicle is being used as to provide “transportation network services” (i.e. – Uber and Lyft).
Water and Energy, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3. On the agenda: a striker to SB1007, creating the “Joint Legislative Review Committee on State Implementation Plans Relating to Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Existing Power Plants” and tasking it to oppose any federal regulation impacting CO2 emissions in AZ that might impact businesses in AZ (no, the bill doesn’t state that specifically, but the many provisions in the bill add up to just that).
Rural Affairs and Environment, Tuesday, 9 a.m., SHR109. Mostly strikers on the agenda. On the agenda: a propaganda session presentation from a retired Border Patrol officer; a striker to SB1200, restoring the state mining and mineral museum (which was zero-funded a couple of years ago so the funding could be used for activities related to Arizona’s centennial); a striker to SCM1001, declaring the lege’s opposition to the idea of declaring 1.7 million acres of the Kaibab National Forest and environs to be a national monument called the “Grand CanyonWatershed National Monument“; a striker to SCM1002, a love letter to Congress urging it to pass legislation to grant states complete authority over the determination of rights-of-way across public lands; a striker to SCM1003, a love letter to the federal government, telling it to stop the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves into Arizona; a striker to SCM1004, urging Congress to invalidate a proposed EPA rule that defines “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
Transportation, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR1. Looks harmless so far.
Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109. On the agenda: SB1466, creating a fund to compensate ranchers and other livestock producers for livestock lost to reintroduced Mexican wolves, and a board to administer that fund.
Public Safety, Military, and Technology, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1. On the agenda: another propaganda session presentation from the same retired border patrol agent who is scheduled to present to the Rural Affairs and Environment committee on Tuesday; SB1271, appropriating $10 million to fund a “virtual border fence”; SB1300, a proposal from Sen. John Kavanagh regarding the use of “law enforcement officer body cameras”. Three points: 1. The proposal has scads of exceptions to their use. 2. The proposal specifically states that any recordings made using such cameras are NOT public record and can be made public only because of a court order or subpoena. 3. Nothing in the proposal actually requires the use of law enforcement body cameras; a same-subject striker (text unavailable as of this writing) to SB1330, invalidating in Arizona federal laws regarding firearms and creating punishments for political subdivisions, public employees, and certain others who enforce or provide support for the enforcement of federal firearms laws.
Finance, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR3. On the agenda: SB1133, relating to municipalities and sale tax refunds; SB1433, mandating that municipalities and counties reimburse utilities that have to relocate a facility due to a public works project.
Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1. On the agenda: SB1283, regarding colocation of outpatient treatment centers, and other matters. I don’t have the subject area knowledge to point out what is specifically bad about this, but my inner cynic wonders if this is less about enhancing patient care and more about enhancing someone’s profits.
Government, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3. Based on this agenda, this should be called the “Bad Government” committee. On that agenda: SB1193, expanding the protection from most zoning laws that is conferred on charter schools to anything owned, leased, or operated by them; SB1266, making changes to the uses of Clean Elections funds, mostly to do with officeholder expense accounts; SB1273, requiring ADOT to issue REAL ID-compliant drivers’ licenses upon request; SB1309, relating to party PCs, their terms of office, and proxies for meetings of party state, county, and legislative district committees; SB1340, requiring that anyone giving more than ten early ballots to an election official also give that official their identifying information…and that the Secretary of State publish that information; SB1345, requiring a government entity (state, county, local, or other subdivision) that acquires previously private property make available for sale property of equal value; SCR1002, proposing to amend the state constitution so that the rules of procedure in the state’s courts are subject to change by the legislature or by a the voters.
Financial Institutions, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR109. On the agenda: SB1189, allowing out of state insurers to sell policies in Arizona (in a way that allows them to circumvent most AZ laws and rules regarding such).
Judiciary, Thursday, 9 a.m., SHR109. Looks harmless so far, but may merit further examination.
On the House side of the Capitol –
Elections, Monday, 9:30 a.m., HHR4. On the agenda: HB2081, barring cash as qualifying contributions for Clean Elections candidates; HB2138, moving the date of the state’s primary election from August to May; HB2407, making it more difficult for petition drives for referenda and recalls (yes, the Rs in the lege are still pissed over the recall of Russell Pearce a few years ago); HB2613, specifying the period during which the use of public resources by municipalities, school districts, etc. to influence the outcome of elections is barred (from the date the election is called through the date of the actual election); HB2649, changing definitions and reporting requirements for “political committees”. Some might try to tell you this is harmless, but a quick examination of the text of the bill uncovered three examples of “bad” policy – 1. To be subject to reporting requirements, a committee/organization’s “primary” purpose must be to influence the outcome of an election…without defining “primary”. 2. Doubles the threshold below which a committee doesn’t have to report (from $250 to $500). 3. Remove the requirement that organizations working to oppose a recall election of a public officer file as a political committee; HB2644, allowing political signs to go up 86 days before an election. Currently, the period when signs can go up starts at 45 days before an election; a striker to HB2652, specifying the term of office of an elected party PC; HB2664, allowing political parties to nominate candidates by party caucus, instead of a primary election (where, horror of all horrors, independent voters might cast a ballot) (Note: “horror of all horrors” is sarcasm, folks) Per the agenda, this item is on the agenda for discussion only, at this point.
Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4. Long agenda of items to be rubber-stamped on their way to floor action.
Ways and Means, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3. On the agenda: a striker to HB2069, Rep. JD Mesnard’s attempt to revive his scheme to reduce the state’s income tax by whatever amount of revenue is collected as sales tax on online transactions (“revive” because his original attempt at this, HB2061, failed to pass a floor vote); a striker to HB2450, exempting billboard rentals from sales tax liability; HB2617, creating a “regulatory relief tax credit”.
County and Municipal Affairs, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4. On the agenda: not sure it is “bad”, but definitely interesting procedurally: a striker to HB2095, allowing Maricopa and Pima counties to waive a performance bond for certain facilities construction projects if the construction costs do not exceed $500K. The original bill would allow all political subdivisions to do that.
Children and Family Affairs, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR5. Nothing that looks too troubling at this point (perhaps the “bay at the moon” crowd is setting aside this time to catch its breath).
Transportation and Infrastructure, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR1. On the agenda: HB2564, requiring that photo radar traffic enforcement devices must be operated by law enforcement personnel for citations issue on the basis of such devices to be valid; HB2662, updating the penalties for traffic infractions related to excessive speed.
Rural and Economic Development, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR5. Looks harmless so far.
Banking and Financial Services, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR3. Looks harmless so far, but some of this is very technical and I don’t fully understand the real world impact of some of the proposals.
Federalism and States’ Rights, Wednesday, 9 a.m., HHR5. When you select your popcorn for this meeting, go with Jiffy Pop. Whoever has extra tin foil at this one will make a bundle from selling it. On the agenda: a propaganda session presentation, a striker to HB2055, barring any the state, any of its subdivisions, or their employees from aiding the federal government in the enforcement/administration of the pending “Waters of the United States” rule from the EPA; HB2145, requiring delegates to a future federal Constitutional convention to take an oath to not allow consideration of any “unauthorized” amendments; HB2176, the lege’s annual ploy to wrest control of federal block grants to AZ from the governor; HB2368, barring the state or its political subdivisions from even cooperating with an executive order of the President of the US; HB2481, changing state law so that if a constitutional convention in AZ approves an amendment to the US Constitution it must notify the Archivist of the US. Current law requires that the US SOS is the one notified; HB2643, barring the state or its subdivisions from enforcing or even cooperating with the federal Affordable Care Act (aka – “Obamacare”); a striker to HB2058, barring the state or its subdivisions from enforcing or cooperating with any federal rules or regulation that isn’t specifically approved by Congress.
Judiciary, Wednesday, 9 a.m., HHR3. On the agenda: HB2378, making it a felony for a peace officer to engage in sexual activity with a victim or with the subject of an investigation (class 2, 3, or 5, depending on the age of non-law enforcement participant in the activity).
Commerce, Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., HHR1. Looks harmless so far.
Insurance, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR4. Looks harmless so far.
Education, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR4. On the agenda: HB2190, creating a replacement for Common Core; HB2246, allowing parents to opt out (on behalf of their children); HB2250, expanding school vouchers “empowerment scholarship accounts”; HB2562, about removing limitations on how school districts may spend the proceeds of property sales; HB2668, creating a fund for “results-based school-readiness contracts” (it’s so specific, it seems to be aimed at funneling money to a specific company; I don’t know which one, but this bears looking into).
Military Affairs and Public Safety, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR5. On the agenda: HB2431, signing on to something called the “uniform firearms transfer compact”. Among its provisions: barring any state that is a member of the compact from crafting any rules concerning the transfer of firearms, even by popular vote. Also, the member states cannot withdraw from the compact without the unanimous approval of all of the other members of the compact.
Government and Higher Education, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1. On the agenda: HB2261, requiring the state board of regents to recognize career and technical education credits as fine arts credits for the purpose of admissions to the state’s university; HB2570, barring municipalities from adopting vegetation requirements.
Agriculture, Water, and Lands, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR3. On the agenda: a lot of neo-secessionist garbage.
The House has posted a Third Read (final approval) calendar and a COW (Committee of the Whole) calendar for Monday. The Senate has posted a Third Read calendar for Monday. When others are posted, they will be available here.
The Capitol Events calendar is here.
Public meeting notices from the Arizona Department of Administration here.