AZ State Legislature Week In Review – Week Ending March 23

We are beginning to wind down this legislative session in terms of committee hearings. Then we will be turning our attention toward the all-important budget. From our perspective, the most important budget item will be the fate of the AZ income tax structure, because Ducey is dead set on denying Arizonans the well deserved tax break created by Trump. It will be interesting to see what develops. In the meantime, this week was not totally without some excitement.

SB1054 – UGENTI-RITA. This bill streamlines, simplifies, and speeds up the process of “curing” or fixing ballots that have errors in them. While most election bills this session are incomprehensively controversial, this one is refreshingly non-controversial. It has previously cleared the senate unanimously and this week it passed in the house also without opposition. Some minor changes were made in the house, which means it has to go back to the senate for final approval. But that approval should be easily forthcoming.

SB1090 – UGENTI-RITA. Requires that the use of emergency voting be limited to emergencies. This bill substantially reduces the likelihood of fraud. This week it passed out of the House Elections Committee along party lines. Previously, the full senate approved this bill also along party lines, except that the Democrats were joined by Republican Heather Carter of LD15.

SB1451 – LEACH. An attempt to reduce some of the unethical practices used by some signature gatherers. It continues to advance painfully against stiff opposition from Democrats. It is hard to understand why Democrats would be opposed to integrity in signature gathering.

HB2616 – TOWNSEND. A person shall not pay or receive money or any other thing of value for registering a person to vote.  This section does not apply to an employee of a political party. Another controversial bill advancing along party lines. This one may run into legal challenges down the road. However, the intention is sound. It removes the monetary incentive from the voter registration process.

SB1072 – UGENTI-RITA. Common sense. Every significant transaction in our society requires the presentation of ID for proper identification. Voting should not be the exception. Again, another bill fiercely opposed by Democrats. Fortunately, it was signed by Ducey after clearing both chambers along party lines.

HB2131 – THORPE. Creates a website for citizens to view the personal info collected about them. The biggest opposition to this transparency bill is coming from the policeman’s union, but it has been advancing along party lines, but with support from a few Democrats.

SCR1008 – MESNARD. If approved by voters, will have the second in command be on the same ticket as the governor. It cleared the senate with modest bipartisan support, but was held in the House Government Committee. Hopefully the house will follow the senate’s lead and allow the citizens to vote on this issue.

HB2569 – PETERSEN. Common sense reciprocity in occupational licensing. Saves a lot of time and money. Cleared house with bi[partisan support and is moving nicely through the senate. An excellent article regarding this bay be read by going to

OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING

Links to the bills mentioned in this article:

SB1054 – early ballots; deficiencies; cure period

SB1090 – emergency voting procedures; board action

SB1451 – statewide ballot measures; circulators; procedures

HB2616 – registration of voters; payment; prohibition

SB1072 – early voting centers; identification required

HB2131 – state agencies; citizen portal; access

SCR1008 – lieutenant governor; joint ticket

HB2569 – occupational licensing; reciprocity