The coming week: legislative edition

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

As usual, all info gathered from online sources including the website of the Arizona legislature and all info is subject to change without notice.

This week since most committees either aren't meeting or are just receiving presentations, the schedules of both chambers will again be combined into one post.

Just a few days ago, I put up a post about this week's meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  It was already scheduled to be the nastiest of the week, and with a revision to the agenda that was posted Friday afternoon, it became one of the harshest slates of bills of the session thus far.

Details ahead…

On the Senate side of the Capitol this week –

Only a few of the Senate's committees are scheduled to meet this week. 

On Monday, Rules will meet at 1 p.m. in Caucus Room 1.  There are 39 bills on the agenda right now, and all will be rubberstamped by the committee.  Of real interest is an agenda item seeking approval for late introduction of bills relating to Roosevelt Dam, a state firearm, and changes to the public safety employee pension plan.

On Tuesday, Appropriations will meet at 2 p.m. in SHR109.  Even during a typical week for committee activity, this one would stand out for the utter vileness of most of the bills scheduled for consideration –

– a "strike everything" amendment, aka "striker", to SB1039 from Al Melvin, creating some sort of "home certificate" program involving "timeout deeds of trust" and other things relating to housing-related debt instruments.  I don't really understand this one, but since it is from Cap'n Al "let's tie education funding to turning AZ into a nuclear waste dump" Melvin, it is presumed to be bad, very bad.

SB1113, Andy Biggs' move to prohibit long term care facilities currently operated by the state or contracting with the state from providing "intermediate care facilities" for mental retardation for a member who has a developmental disability (Arizona Long Term Care System, or ALTCS).  This looks to be part of a scheme to totally privatize this function, and steer the contracts (and associated $$$) to a particular provider, one who isn't currently a contractor for the state

– A striker to SB1115 aimed at hamstringing higher education in Arizona.  It would serve to permanently reduce state aid to community college districts.  It also would end the Arizona Board of Regents, instead creating a Board of Trustees for each individual state university.  Call it the "divide and conquer" clause – instead of one unified voice fighting for the state's university system, each separate university would claw at the others for a piece of an ever-dwindling pool of money.  The closest thing to a "good" clause in this would be the creation of an Arizona Polytechnic University in Mesa.  Otherwise, this is completely bad

– A striker to SCR1014, an amendment to the Arizona Constitution removing gubernortorial appointment language regarding the AZ Board of Regents (related to the above measure)

– A striker to SB1141, requiring school districts and charter schools to demand and maintain proof of residency in Arizona for their students.  This looks to be the creation of a target list for those who wish to use the school system to hunt immigrants

SB1308 and SB1309, the anti-14th Amendment/birthright citizenship bills that have been held for a couple of weeks as Russell Pearce and Ron Gould (and others) twist arms to raise support for the measures

SB1405, turning Arizona's hospitals into immigration checkpoints

SB1407, requiring that AZ's school districts collect information on immigrant students and forward that info to the state, and penalizing school districts that don't do so

SB1519, completely repealing AHCCCS

SB1589, mandating that ADOT authorize all titling, registration, licensing (all varieties), and tax reporting functions.  It allows the director of ADOT to establish minimum standards of service and a quality assurance program but doesn't exempt ADOT from the current moratorium on agency rule-making.  In other words, no oversight

– SB1610, relating to a "state firearm" (no text available as yet)

– SB1611, "immigration omnibus."  No text available as yet, but it wouldn't shock me if this turns out to be an attempt to reinstate some of the provisions of 2010's SB1070 that were blocked by a court ruling

Both of the above measures still need to be introduced, with the approval of the Rules Committee, and assigned to committee

SCR1045, making appointments to the various judicial selection panels totally political (no more screening of attorney applicants for the panels by the AZ Bar Association)

On Wednesday, Finance will meet at 9 a.m. in SHR1.  One bill on the agenda: SB1609, relating to changes to the state's public pension plans.  No text available, and will need Rules Committee approval for introduction (it will get that, but it will be a few days before the bill text is available online)

No agendas have yet been posted for committees that meet on Thursday.

On the House side of the Capitol, they will begin hearing Senate-passed measures -

On Monday, Rules will meet at 1 p.m. in HHR4.  46 bills on the agenda right now; rubberstamp.

On Monday, Energy and Natural Resources will meet at 2 p.m. in HHR4.  Presentations only (SRP and AREVA Solar).

On Tuesday, Government will meet at 2 p.m. in HHR4.  Two bills on the agenda:

SB1153, allowing municipalities with an appointed auditor to allow that auditor access to the executive session minutes of the local council or local municipality committees.  Seems non-controversial.

SB1171, allowing municipalities to force a county to transfer a wastewater/sewage system operated by the county within the municipality to that municipality.  Not so non-controversial.  Rooted in a conflict between the town of Marana and Pima County.  At this point, as much a personality conflict as anything else, a conflict where one party is looking at the legislature to intervene.

On Tuesday, Environment will meet at 2 p.m. in HHR5.  Presentation from ADEQ on particulate reduction (air quality).

On Tuesday, Employment and Regulatory Affairs will meet at 2 p.m. in HHR3.  One bill on the agenda: SB1167, making changes to the state's retirement system.

On Wednesday, Higher Education, Innovation, and Reform will meet at 9 a.m. in HHR2.  Presentation from the CEO of the Lumina Foundation for Education, an organization dedicated to undermining/corporatizing the American higher education system.  A report from the American Association of Colleges and Universities here.

On Wednesday, Health and Human Services will meet at 9:30 a.m. in HHR4.  The agenda is all Senate bills that look to be harmless, so far.

On Wednesday, Appropriations will meet at 2 p.m in HHR1.  House bills on this agenda, including –

– HB2070, which has been amended to create an armed "state guard" force outside of the National Command Authority.  It would be answerable to the governor and legislature, and be funded by monies siphoned from the Arizona National Guard

– A striker to HB2136 to create a state agency fee commission to study and pass judgement on state agency fees

HB2301, mandating that school districts spend at least 50% of their maintenance and operation budget on teacher salaries and removes the restrictions against using "soft capital" funds (books, desks, etc.) on non-soft capital expenditures

– A striker to HB2592, relating to "schools; classroom budget funds."  No text available as yet.

On Thursday, Judiciary will meet at 9 a.m. in HHR4.  The only item currently on the agenda is "adoption of rules."

On Thursday, Agriculture and Water will meet at 9 a.m. in HHR5.  On the agenda:  two presentations (Arizona Well Water Association and Central Arizona Project) and two seemingly non-controversial Senate bills.

Some Capitol events (and here, from the Arizona Capitol Times):

Monday is Arizona Citizens Defense League/NRA Lobby Day, aka – "Gun Fetishists Running Wild At The Capitol" Day.  Look for the Capitol lobbyist dress code to call for Kevlar suit jackets that day

Wednesday at the Wyndham in Phoenix at 11:30 a.m., Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona will speak on the impacts of buying locally.  Mentioned here because on Thursday, Ms. Lanning will be one of the five Independent candidates for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission interview for appointment to the chairmanship.

Thursday, as noted above, the four partisan legislative appointees to the AIRC will meet to select a fifth, Independent, member to serve as chair of the AIRC.



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