Cross posted from the Arizona Eagletarian
Last Monday, after SB1062 had already hit the fan, the Arizona Senate passed SB1237, a bill to greatly expand the number of students eligible for taxpayer funds to pay private school tuition (Yarbrough’s STOs).
This is one of the bills 12News reporter Brahm Resnik asked Public School Superintendent John Huppenthal about the week before the SB1062 firestorm. Huppenthal acknowledged that the expanded eligibility would be extended to possibly 50 to 65 percent of students now attending public schools in Arizona.
Kimberly Yee, chair of the Senate Education committee and beneficiary of Cathi Herrod’s largess, is the first sponsor (owning the bill) of SB1237. In addition to Herrod’s lobbying reports, Yee has received direct campaign contributions from Herrod as well as from Sidney Hay. Hay is the lobbyist Huppenthal blamed (credited) for the robocall campaign soliciting public school families to seek tax funds for private school tuition.
In 2012, David and Carol Lambert, long time officers and/or directors of CAP for years. each maxed out in campaign donations to Yee. Gary Paisley, at one time an executive vice-president at CAP also donates to Yee’s campaigns.
Of course, in the Arizona Legislature’s Pay-to-Play environment, that Yee reported having collected campaign contributions totaling $22,075 from lobbyists of all stripes in 2013 is impressive. But I digress.
Today, Arizona Republic reporter Mary Jo Pitzl tweeted:
House Education Committee kills empowerment scholarship accounts bill, SB1237. Would have changed rules on public $ for private schools
— maryjpitzl (@maryjpitzl) March 4, 2014
Here’s the rest of the story.
The House Education Committee voted it down 2-6 with 1 member (Paul Boyer R-LD20/Phoenix) absent. Committee chair Doris Goodale, another beneficiary of Herrod’s largess, was one of the AYE votes. If Boyer had been there, he likely could be counted on to vote AYE.
John Allen (R-LD15/Scottsdale) reportedly flipped from an AYE vote to a NAY.
This sets both Allen and Coleman up to ask for a reconsideration next week. According to parliamentary procedure, a reconsideration can only be requested by a member who voted with the prevailing side. In this case, one of the six NAY votes.
Three of the NAY votes were cast by the Democratic members of the committee. One was cast by Republican Heather Carter, who has bucked her caucus from time to time, including on the SB1062 vote and last year when the Medicaid restoration bill was voted on. I would not expect any of those four to change their vote, at least not the three Dems.
Anyway, that takes the count, figuring Doug Coleman (R-LD16/Apache Junction) likely also changes to AYE, to 5-4 and the bill then receives a DO PASS recommendation from the committee.
The House Education Committee agenda for next week has not yet been posted, but let’s all keep an eye on it because this is clearly something that Herrod wants, badly.
By the way, Herrod’s personal staff lawmakers, Sens. Yee and Barto were big pushers in 2011 of bills to chip away at women’s reproductive health care rights, including two that were signed into law, HB2384 and HB2416.
On Tuesday, Arizona citizens will march forth (on March 4th) to protest the undue influence Herrod and her cronies have on public policy in our state.
As long as the legislature is still in session, none of us are safe from Cathi Herrod, the Center for Arizona Policy, and other aligned organizations. Fresh from losing the battle against legalized discrimination, they now want the government to meddle in women’s healthcare with surprise inspections of clinics that provide healthcare and abortion services. This bill, if signed into law, is intended to frighten women out of utilizing these healthcare resources–as well as frighten (intimidate) clinicians & doctors out of offering these services. This bill, if passed into law, would be unconstitutional, illegal, and drastically misaligned with the priorities of Arizonans.
We must keep fighting for what is right: our dignity, privacy–and our freedom.
1) Share this event with ALL of your contacts.
2) Join the presser on the Capitol lawn at 1 PM.
3) Call Speaker Tobin at (602) 926-5172 or email him at email@example.com to voice your opposition to this bill (HB 2284).
4) Fire up Brewer’s phone lines again at: (602) 542-4331.
Big thanks again to Lisa Hoffman for the research assist.