Arizona House keeps corporate welfare program intact for failing newspapers

az-cap-timesNewsprint publications have long survived past their viability thanks to an Arizona statute that forces companies to purchase expensive public notices for publication. This week, a bill, HB2016, which would have ended the corporate welfare type program failed in the Arizona House.

HB2016: Corporation Commission; database, would have allow companies to publish public notices on the Corporation Commission’s website instead of in newspapers. It was rejected in a vote of 33 -26.

One older Republican lawmaker claimed that he wanted to preserve newspaper because he liked the feeling of newsprint in the morning. Others, like Republican Rep. Ackerly opposed the bill to show his support for his local paper, the Green Valley News, which was instrumental in his election.

Rep. Rios and others attempted to make support for the bill a matter of payback for bad press coverage of certain representatives, however those claims were unfounded in light of the fact that numerous lawmakers have tried to take on the newspaper corporations for years with a bill of this sort.

Rep. Farnsworth called the public notice requirements, “a redistribution of wealth mandated by the government upon the private sector to papers that would no longer survive because they are not commercially viable unless the government forces this transfer of wealth.”

Rep. Warren Petersen summed up the situation succinctly when he facetiously applauded the Arizona Newspaper Association’s lobbyist John Moody. “I want to congratulate my lobbyist friend John Moody for again successfully killing this bill. Masterfully done. My hat’s off to him.”

Member NameVoteMember NameVoteMember NameVote
John Christopher AckerleyNJohn M. AllenYLela AlstonN
Richard C. AndradeNBrenda BartonYJennifer D. BenallyN
Reginald BoldingNSonny BorrelliYRussell “Rusty” BowersY
Paul BoyerNKate Brophy McGeeYNoel W. CampbellN
Mark A. CardenasNHeather CarterYKen ClarkN
Regina CobbYDoug ColemanNDiego EspinozaN
Karen FannNEdwin W. FarnsworthYCharlene R. FernandezN
Mark FinchemYRandall FrieseNRosanna GabaldónN
Sally Ann GonzalesNVRick GrayYAlbert HaleN
Anthony KernYJonathan R. LarkinNJay LawrenceY
Vince LeachNDavid LivingstonYPhil LovasN
Stefanie MachNDebbie McCune DavisNJuan Jose MendezN
Javan D. “J.D.” MesnardYEric MeyerNDarin MitchellN
Steve MontenegroYJill NorgaardYJustin OlsonY
Lisa A. OtondoNWarren H. PetersenYFranklin M. PrattN
Rebecca RiosNTony RiveroYBob RobsonY
Macario SaldateNAndrew C. SherwoodNThomas “T.J.” ShopeN
Victoria SteeleNDavid W. StevensYBob ThorpeY
Kelly TownsendYMichelle R. UgentiYCeci VelasquezN
Jeff WeningerYBruce WheelerNDavid M. Gowan Sr.Y

 

AYES: 26   NAYS: 33   NOT VOTING: 1   EXCUSED: 0   VACANT: 0

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