It has often been said that excessive heat can cause brain damage. That must be what is happening at the state legislature because there is no other logical explanation for what is happening. Here we are, 13 days from a government shutdown and they are still squabbling over the budget, apparently with no end in sight.
It seems that we have a perfect storm for an impasse. First, we have the Democrats who are happy to see the ship of state sink into oblivion unless their Marxist budget demands are met. Second, we have several Republican prima donnas that insist on demanding spending on items not that different from those demanded by the Democrats. Last but certainly not least, we have such a thin Republican majority in each chamber that it makes it easy for those renegade Republicans to do their mischief.
How much sense does it make, in the middle of one of the worst economies the Republic has experienced, to have a battle over how to spend taxpayer money instead of figuring how to reduce the burden of government on tax payers?
We will not be able to make any significant progress toward budgets that reflect fiscal responsibility until we have a wider Republican majority in both chambers. Voters should take this matter very seriously when choosing for whom to vote in the upcoming elections, both primary and general.
Elsewhere in the legislature, there is some modest but significant activity:
HB2853 – Arizona empowerment scholarship accounts; appropriation This bill would make most K-12 students eligible for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Because we are way past the deadline for introducing bills, this one had to be done under the suspension of the rules. We are justifiable suspicious when bills are introduced in this fashion, but this one appears to be a good one. In fact, it is so good that it will not get past the not-so-republican Republicans unless some concessions are made. Those concessions appear to be in the form of a companion bill, HB2854.
HB2854 – K-12; school finance; weights Enactment of this bill is contingent upon enactment of HB2853. It appears to be an effort to appease those Republicans that insist on increasing K-12 funding. This bill is most likely a back-door scheme to increase education funding without appearing to do so. If that is what it takes to finally get a near universal ESA program, so be it.
SB1412 – race; ethnicity; sex; classroom instruction If district schools were to focus on teaching skills necessary for success instead of indoctrinating according to the latest Leftist fad, we would not need a bill like this to force them to behave, but sadly, we do. Because of staunch opposition by the Democrats, aided and abetted by some Republicans, this bill has been having a hard time. It is currently in conference committee. Hopefully it will make it to the governor soon.
HB2243 – voter registration; state residency; cancellation This bill is a milder version of HB2617, which was vetoed by the governor for no good reason. It went dormant about 3 months ago, but it now appears to have been revived. The next step is floor action in the Senate.
HB2710 – registrations; counting procedures; observers; verification This is another good election integrity bill that has stalled. But it is showing some signs of life. It has cleared the Senate COW, so it should be ready for a full Senate vote.
We are recommending that folks contact all Republican legislators and express support for all these bills. That may be easily accomplished by going to our people’s lobbyist website at https://azpeopleslobbyist.com/