By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
Committee work at the Arizona lege has definitely ramped up; There are a couple of contenders for the "worst of the week", but it looks as if the meeting of Senate Government and Environment on Monday will be this week's worst of the worst…
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.
All House committee agendas can be found here.
All Senate committee agendas can be found here.
On the House side of the Capitol this week –
– Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4. Rubber stamp of bills that seem to be mostly non-controversial (based on their unanimous or near-unanimous committee approvals). One exception to the "non-controversial" categorization: HB2014, Rep. Michelle Ugenti's scheme to make it more difficult for citizen initiatives to pass at the ballot. That one was approved in committee on a party-line vote.
– Ways and Means, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR1. Short agenda: HB2317, creating a sales tax holiday for purchases of clothing and school supplies up to $100 on the last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of July: and HB2465, reducing Arizona's income tax rates to offset any revenue collected in the form of sales tax from online retailers.
– Financial Institutions, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR5. Short agenda with one item that seems to stand out: HB2264. If passed, it would create something called "Arizona Job Finance Bonds". The interesting part: the part of the proposal where review of the bonds would be limited legally to a 30 day period after the bonds are authorized.
–Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4. Looks mostly harmless, though HB2226 may be something to keep an eye on – it's technical, but it looks like it waters down Arizona's vehicle emissions testing program.
– Education, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3. Looks harmless so far, though John Huppenthal is scheduled to give a presentation. *That* should be entertaining, in a "he's not under oath, so don't get excited" sort of way.
– Government, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR4. Cathi Herrod may deign to make a state visit for this one. On the agenda: HB2153, legalizing discrimination when the person/entity doing the discriminating can cite a justification based in religious doctrine; HB2481, creating a section of law that states that ministers (or other religious leaders who are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies) are not required to conduct weddings that are "inconsistent with the sincerely held religious belief, doctrine, or tenet of the church."
– Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR1. Judging by the scheduled presentation by the Goldwater Institute and the number of bills relating to amending the US Constitution, this one will be a meeting of the Black Helicopter Caucus. Also on the agenda: HCR2018, proposing to change the Arizona Constitution to require that when the voters approve a measure that authorizes the expenditure of, or actually expends, state monies, the voters must reapprove that measure every eight years. This proposal would also be retroactive – all previously-approved voter measures that expend money would have to be reapproved if this proposal reaches the ballot and passes.
– Agriculture and Water, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR5. Looks harmless so far.
– Public Safety, Military, and Regulatory Affairs, Wednesday, 9 a.m., HHR3. Among the proposals on the agenda: HB2103, expanding eligibility for concealed weapons permits to those who are at least 19 years old and are serving in (or are honorably discharged from) the military (current law requires that CCW permit holders be at least 21 years old).
– Health, Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., HHR4. Looks harmless so far.
– Higher Education and Workforce Development, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR1. Looks harmless so far.
– Commerce, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR5. Looks relatively harmless so far.
– Appropriations, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR1. Presentation only, at this time.
– Transportation, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR3. Long agenda, but looks relatively harmless so far.
– Reform and Human Services, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1. Right now, there are two bills on the agenda: HB2234, repealing the hospital assessment passed last year as part of the Medicaid restoration package; and HB2367, a punitive measure with the apparent goal of making life more difficult for AHCCCS recipients.
– Judiciary, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR4. On the agenda: HB2483, protecting the use of firearms or other hand-held projectile weapons on private property from almost any sort of regulation; HB2515, an anti-"revenge porn" measure.
On the Senate side of the Capitol –
– Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Senate Caucus Room 1. Rubber stamp.
– Judiciary, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR1. Short agenda. Consideration of one bill and one executive nomination – longtime uber-lobbyist Barry Aarons for the Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments.
– Government and Environment, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3. A long and ugly agenda. Items include: the first different-subject strike everything amendment of the session to receive committee consideration (this one would limit payments to special health care districts, like the one in Maricopa County that operates the Maricopa Medical Center); SB1094, an anti-teachers union measure, attacking payroll deductions for union dues and other purposes; SB1151, micromanaging municipalities, barring them from barring the keeping of fowl (chickens, etc.) at private single-family residences; SB1211, SB1212, and SCR1006, relating to the lege's desire to kill more Mexican gray wolves; SB1156, barring political and corporate entities in AZ from collecting "metadata" related to electronic communications and transferring to the feds, or from aiding the feds in their doing so, unless a warrant is presented. There is nothing in the measure that prohibits the collection of metadata, with or without a warrant, just the transfer of such information to the feds; and SR1003, a resolution stating that the Arizona State Senate supports the "nullification" of all EPA rules.
– Transportation, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR3. Looks harmless so far.
– Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109. Looks harmless so far.
– Commerce, Energy, and Military, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1. A few bills and a few executive branch nominations on the agenda, but it looks harmless so far.
– Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR1. On the agenda: SB1120, prohibiting hospitals from requiring physicians treat Medicare and Medicaid patients as a condition for granting staff privileges. Apparently the Rs' hatred of poor people exceeds their professed love of less regulation, because this seems to be micromanaging businesses; SB1135, expanding the qualified immunity from malpractice suits conferred upon health care providers working at nonprofit clinics.
– Public Safety, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR109. Looks harmless so far.
– Finance, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3. Looks harmless, but there is one bill I completely don't understand: SB1303. It classifies certain property owned by (presumably private) higher education institutions as "class six" property. Since I don't know how this sort of property is currently treated for tax purposes, I don't understand the impact of the change.
– Education, Thursday, 9:30 a.m., SHR1. Bad agenda. On it: SB1236 and SB1237, all about expanding and entrenching school vouchers "Empowerment Scholarship Accounts"; SB1254, mandating that school districts can call budget override and property disposition elections only in even-numbered years; SB1287, creating a process to legislatively vacate the results of a school district bond or budget override election if the lege's Director of the Arizona Legislative Council doesn't approve the ballot language.
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.