By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
This will be a relatively light week for committee activity – many committees have short agendas, and many others simply aren't meeting this week. Next week and the week after next will probably have more committee activity as the lege approaches the primary deadline for bills to be heard in committee.
As usual, all committee agendas, floor calendars, and event schedules are subject to change without notice. Call ahead to confirm plans before travelling to the Capitol based on an agenda, calendar, or schedule cited here.
If an agenda is summarized with "looks harmless so far" that only means that nothing on the agenda set off "bat-shit crazy" alarm bells; if the committee in question covers an area of interest to you, check out the full agenda yourself. And if I missed something significant, please leave a comment letting me know.
A hearing room designation of "SHR" means it is a hearing room in the Senate building; "HHR" means that the hearing room is in the House building.
Lastly, this summary is not, nor is it intended to be, comprehensive. Many bills have been covered, but not all of them. Again, if a committee covers an area of interest to you, check out the full agenda yourself.
House side of the Capitol –
Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4. Long agenda of bills originating in the House, but not as long as it has been for the last couple of weeks.
Education, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3. Looks harmless so far.
Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources, Monday, 2:15 p.m., HHR4. A special meeting with one item on the agenda: SB1290, relating to the Office of Pest Management. I think this one is harmless, but it involves changes to many clauses in the law
Insurance and Retirement, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR3. One item on the agenda: SB1369, granting to employers, under certain circumstances, an exemption from paying for unemployment insurance. According to the sponsor, Sen. Gail Griffin (R), the motivation behind this measure is related to an incident where an employer had to pay for unemployment insurance payments to a former employee who voluntarily left a position but was later laid off from a subsequent job.
Government, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR4. Looks harmless so far.
Higher Education and Workforce Development, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR1. Looks harmless so far.
Health, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR4. Looks harmless so far.
Reform and Human Services, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1. Looks harmless so far.
Judiciary, Thursday, 10 a.m., HHR4. Looks harmless so far, but this is always a committee to watch. This committee is the center of a lot of the mischief on the House side of the Capitol.
Senate side of the Capitol –
Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Senate Caucus Room 1. Long agenda; long enough that they may have to re-ink their rubberstamp before all is said and done
Judiciary, Monday, upon adjournment of the floor, SHR1. Sneaky bad bill: HB2240, raising the limits on civil actions that can be heard in Justice Courts as 'small claims" from $2500 to $5000. Former state senator Frank Antenori tried to run a similar measure last year to help a friend of his. It was hated by the courts, and vetoed by the governor. This year, the measure was watered down, but the courts still hate it (obviously, not something that the Rs in the lege care about), but word is that the governor still doesn't like it. Expect it to pass the lege, but I don't know about its chances of becoming law.
Government and Environment, Monday, upon adjournment of the floor, SHR3. On the agenda: HB2005, expanding the definition of public entities covered under public records and disclosure rules and laws. Fine on the face of it, but the measure was proposed by Rep. Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale), and the next time she proposes a "good governance" measure will be the first time.
Transportation, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR3. Looks harmless so far.
Elections, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR1. Short agenda, all bad (in other words, par for the course for Sen. Michele Reagan's committee).
Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109. Looks harmless so far. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Public Safety, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR109. Looks harmless so far.
Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1. On the agenda: HB2547, creating a "Birth Outcome Committee" to study the possible effect of using "doulas" to help improve birth outcomes for pregnant women who face an elevated risk of poor birth outcomes. A doula is "a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth or provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period" (courtesy the legislative summary of the measure).
Finance, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3. On the agenda: HB2057, HB2058, and HB2059, making changes to the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), the state employee pension plan. HB2058 looks harmless, but no so much for the others; HB2324, exempting leases between different but related business entities from sales tax.
Commerce, Energy, and Military, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1. HB2147, shifting the burden of proof in unemployment insurance claims to the worker/claimant. In other words, the claimant will have to prove their eligibility for UI benefits instead of the former employer having to prove INeligibility.
The lege's calendar of events located at and close to the Capitol is here.