This second week of the 2022 legislative session saw a return to the usual high level of activity as various groups vied for attention in their quest to promote their respective agendas. However, one group was conspicuous for its absence from the fray.
Conservative Republicans appear to have been AWOL during most of the week. They were mostly absent when it came to testifying at committee hearings. They were also way behind in the area of opinions submitted via the Request to Speak System (RTS).
Originally, the RTS was designed as a tool to reserve speaking time at committee hearings. But whether we like it or not, the system has evolved into a means of providing up or down votes on pending legislation.
Conservative Republicans have been losing the RTS battle as far back as anyone can remember. True to form, as of this week they have been trailing 2 to 1.
The RTS has one major flaw in that there is no way for the public to know whether those posting opinions are AZ registered voters or members of out-of-state rent-a-mobs. Until a few years ago, an icon was attached to the names of individuals who provided proof that they were registered voters in AZ. This was a valuable tool for determining the worth of the opinions expressed. Still, Conservative Republicans would be well advised to step up their presence at the RTS.
Education continues to be a hot topic at the capitol, as several education-related bills wind their way through the legislative process. Here are two examples:
Introduced by Rep. Udall, this is a very good bill, enforcing the notion that a broken clock is right twice a day. HB2112 deals with the curtailment of Critical Race Theory teaching at public schools. No matter how much the Left attempts to euphemize it by calling it something else, CRT is a promotion of class welfare, straight from the pages of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. It passed the House Education Committee in spite of little or no help from conservatives. The RTS score so far is 100 for and 449 against.
Introduced by Sen. Townsend. It prohibits the use of taxpayer money for funding school board associations There is no question that the AZ School Board Association does some good from time to time. But they routinely engage in two unacceptable activities. First, they advance political agendas that should be left out of the education field. Second, they often do their indoctrination using taxpayer money. SB1011 passed the Senate Education Committee along party lines, but without significant assistance from rank-and-file republicans. Its RTS score was, For 192, Against 381.
Next week’s legislative activity is likely to produce more fireworks, as the legislators grapple with some bills that address very important and controversial issues. Among them:
This bill, introduced by Rep. Kaiser, could be one of the most significant education bills to be considered this session because it makes some important changes to the parents bill of rights. For some time now, we have had in force ARS 1-602, the Parental Bill of Rights. But ARS 1-602 has some limitations that are addressed by HB2161. For example, it provides more precise language in defining rights and it calls for punishment when those rights are violated.
It is hard to understand how we got to the point that our governor is allowed to exercise dictatorial powers through executive orders. But we are there now, and we need to take corrective action. We desperately need to establish some semblance of balance of power within our state government. In order to succeed, this effort needs support from the Democrats. Whether we get that support is an open question, bot one that will most likely be answered next week when SB1009 comes up for a committee hearing.
The idea of forcing Arizonans into an electric car “Utopia” is back again this session. There are no fewer than four bills, introduced by Sen. Steele, promoting this subject. Deciding which of these bills is the worst is a daunting task because they are all so bad, but SB1154 wins because, in addition to promoting a horrible policy, it does it in the most misleading and sneaky way possible. After all, who could possibly be opposed to studying transportation electrification? But even a cursory reading of SB1154 reveals that the committee’s mission is far from studying anything, but to advocate for the mandated use of electric cars. Among the duties of this committee we find, “Foster public acceptance and awareness of transportation electrification by creating an outreach campaign to educate the general public and lawmakers about electric vehicles and their benefits.” Folks, that is not a study, but raw, unadulterated propaganda in favor of electric cars. This bill, and others like it, need to be electrocuted, and the sooner the better.
The idea of same day voter registration, like Dracula, keeps on reviving every so often. Bill HB2237 is an attempt by Rep. Hoffman to finally put a stake through its heart. Allowing people to vote without allowing ample time to determine eligibility creates a perfect scenario for “irregularities” to occur. There is no logical reason why any legitimate voter would wait until the date of the election to register.
We are looking forward to a very lively and interesting legislative session.
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