As we get closer to the end of this session, the activity will be shifting away from committee hearings and toward full floor activity, the budget negotiations, and what the governor will do with the bills that are being sent to him.
However, this week we still had plenty of standing committee activity, some of it good, and some not so good.
This week we saw some rare tax relief activity, albeit a rather modest one. But, as has been the case throughout this session, the activity was dominated by elections, pandemic, and education. Here are some examples.
The only measurable tax activity this week had to do with the way small businesses are taxed.
Small businesses in Arizona have been hit disproportionately hard by the imposition of draconian restrictions under the guise of protecting us from the allegedly worst virus the world has ever known. For most businesses that have survived, this may be a way to get income tax relief. A major feature of this proposal is that the income tax will be taxed at a fixed rate, instead of the current graduated rate. There are other provisions as well. The most advantageous provision is that it is optional. Businesses may choose which system is best for their situation. It passed the House Ways and Means Committee 6-4.
The elections activity was showcased by this bill, which promotes a balance of power
This bill would mandate that the instructions and procedures manual must be approved by legislative council. Presumably, unlike the secretary of state, the legislative council is non-partisan. Also, the members of the legislative council are, or should be, well versed in the area of constitutionality. This bill cleared the House Government and Elections Committee 7-6.
Center stage on education this week is a bill dealing with teaching English to English learners.
This bill is very popular with legislators that know absolutely nothing about learning a foreign language in a foreign land. The only opposition in the House has come from the only representative who has actually learned English as an immigrant from another country, in this case Viet Nam. Rep Gnuyen learned English by using the same system used by the military and major corporations, namely full immersion in the foreign language, which in his case it was English. Those who are interested in such things may watch a 15-minute video containing a very thorough discussion of this issue. Simply go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfUapOKXyjA
SCR1020 passed the House Education Committee 7-3. All NO votes came from Republicans
What is a week at the state legislature without bills dealing with “The Pandemic”?
As usual, there were several bills of this genre considered at the state legislature. This one is particularly significant because it deals with a constitutional amendment to establish some sane balance of power when it comes to reacting to a medical emergency. If passed by both chambers and approved by the voters, this measure would limit the governor’s state of emergency to 30 days, unless extended by the legislature. SCR1003 has been advancing steadily along strict party lines. This week it cleared the House Government and Elections Committee 7-6.
NOTICE #1: Free videos are available dealing with a selected number of bills we are tracking. Each video deals with a single bill, averages about 5 minutes in length, and contains a very detailed discussion of both the positive and the negative features of each bill. You may access this feature by going to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-9WHy-ADLD5RXycOOmU3_w
Once there, you may search by entering, in the search box, the bill number or key word(s). If a bill you are interested in is not there, you may leave a message requesting that it be added.
NOTICE #2: 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
The report that comes up has all the bills we are tracking, sorted alphanumerically. Searching for a specific bill or subject is very easy, by entering the bill number or key word in the search box.
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