When it comes to committee hearings, this has been the busiest week so far this session. That is because this was the last week in which bills could be heard in their original chamber. Next week, surviving House bills will be considered in the Senate and surviving Senate bills will be considered in the House. This is the reason we saw suck a mad rush to get as many bills as possible in and out of committees.
The categories of the bills we handled this week are the same usual suspects that have been dominating legislative activity so far this session, namely government, education, and elections.
The bills in the government category revolved around reining in government overreach and establishing some balance in the balance of power equation. Here are some examples:
This bill would prohibit any governmental entity in Arizona from using a social media platform for any official or governmental purpose. This bill cleared committee in spite of the NO vote from sometimes Republican Boyer. SB1687 passed because of the YES vote by usually staunch liberal Democrat Steele.
This bill is aimed at discouraging government entities from defunding law enforcement for political reasons. Its opponents claim that it will cause irreparable damage when municipalities have to cut back because of econ0omic reasons. That is a bogus argument. The bill clearly states that economic downturn or population reduction will not trigger the provisions of this bill.
The quest for a more even balance of power is best illustrated by the introduction of this bill. It requires that a state of emergency declared by the governor will end in 14 days unless he calls a special session of the legislature to move forward as a legislative/executive team, not as a dictatorship. Amazingly, all Democrats in the House Military Affairs & Public Safety committee voted against this measure.
Not to be outdone, education played a role worthy of the entity that receives 60% of the state and county revenues.
SCR1044 – tuition; postsecondary education BOWIE; SHOPE; UDALL
If this is not the worst bill this session, it must be a very close second. It provides that persons without lawful immigration status are eligible for in-state tuition. Think about it. If this bill is enacted, illegal aliens get a better education deal at Arizona’s universities than legal residents of the other 49 states, and we the taxpayers foot the bill. It is not surprising that all Democrats in the Senate Education Committee voted for this garbage, but it is disheartening that three Republicans joined them in their YES votes. They were Pace, Boyer, and Shope. To their credit, Barto and Gray voted against it, but their efforts were not enough to prevent a 6-2 victory for the socialists.
The election theme had its share of activity, as illustrated by these two bills.
It seems that during every session in the last few years, the socialists introduce bills to advance their agenda in three areas, which are, same day registration, background check for firearms purchases from individuals, and repeal of the right to work statutes. But this year is different in that the other side is fighting back, as illustrated by the introduction of HB2811. This bill prohibits registering and voting on the same day. Not surprisingly, it passed committee along party lines.
It does not make any sense that under current law, a simple majority of those voting can amend statutes, and even our state constitution. HCR2016 would alleviate that by requiring a 60% majority.to enact legislation or amend the state constitution. It passed the Government and Elections Committee along party lines, 7-6
Those readers who wish to view complete reports on what activity has taken place, or will be taking place next week, with the bills we are tracking, may do so by going to: https://www.facebook.com/AZRRT or https://mewe.com/i/joseborrajero
Both sites provide opportunities for readers to make comments, including suggestions for bills to add to our tracking list. Those not participating in social media may view the report by clicking on 2021-REPORT