AZ State Legislature Week In Review – Week Ending March 31

Arizona capitol

The best that can be said about this week is that we are one week closer to this legislature’s adjournment, and consequently we have one less week in which politicians can do legislative mischief. There are no more committee hearings, except a few at Appropriations. So, it is pretty much a mop up operation, except for the budget.

THE BUDGET: Traditionally the budget process is where the highest level of mischief occurs. That is because this process happens with some level of secrecy and in such a manner that citizen input is totally impossible. The average citizen, even those well informed, seldom know what is going on until after it happens, when it is too late to do anything about it. This year we have a governor hell bent on increasing taxes in stealthy and sneaky ways in order to avoid the constitutionally mandated requirement of a 2/3 majority in the legislature for any tax increases. Conservative activists are asking people that they contact the governor and request that the budget comes out neutral in terms of taxation. In other words, do not tax the citizens any more than they are being taxed already.

Contacting the governor via e-mail may be done by going here here.

Those who prefer phoning may do so by using these numbers Phoenix: 602-542-4331  Tucson: 520-628-6580

HB2186 – UDALL: Originally this bill dealt with parents who did not pay their share of school meals for their children. UDALL (LD25) graciously made this bill available to CARTER (LD15) to execute a strike-all amendment with the text of CARTER’s SB1217. Bill SB1217 is the bill that provides that illegal aliens do not have to show proof of lawful presence in order to obtain goodies via institutions engaged in postsecondary education. Those goodies include, but are not limited to, discounted tuition rates. CARTER found a willing accomplice in UDALL and a favorable committee in the senate’s Health and Human Services. The outcome was a 5-3 vote in favor as a result of CARTER and BROPHY-MCGEE joining the three Democrats in the panel voting in favor. Now HB2186 goes to the House where there is an excellent chance it will pass. All it takes is for two Republicans to join the 29 Democrats with a YES vote.

This bill is an excellent candidate for requesting a veto from the governor.

SCR1008 – MESNARD: If passed, it will give voters the opportunity to approve a constitutional amendment to create the office of lieutenant governor, to be elected on the same ticket as the governor. It is one more step closer to reality after clearing the House Government Committee 6-5.

SB1001 – UGENTI-RITA: One of only two good things that came out of the legislature this week was the advancement of this bill, 4-0, in the House Transportation Committee. SB1001 repeals the 2018 highway safety fee (tax).

SB1188 – UGENTI-RITA: This is the other good bill that advanced this week. It cleans up the permanent early voting list. Cleaning up this list is a good start in controlling voter fraud. It cleared the House Elections Committee 6-4.

SB2109 – SHOPE: More mischief. Another tax increase bill. It doubles the allowable transportation excise tax. It passed the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee 5-3. This was made possible because two Republicans, PRATT (LD8) and BORRELLI (LD5) joined the Democrats in voting YES. Tax increases are not just for Democrats any more.

Links to the bills mentioned in this report.

SCR1008 – lieutenant governor; joint ticket

HB2186 – school meals; unpaid fees

SB1001 – highway safety fee; repeal; VLT

HB2109 – county transportation excise tax.

SB1188 – permanent early voting list