AZ Legislature Week In Review – Week Ending March 24, 2023

az capitol

It is hard to believe that we are already on week 11 of this year’s legislative session. If we interpret the rules correctly, next week will be the last week for standing committee hearings, except for Appropriation committees, which get an extra week.

That explains the mad rush of members to get as many of their bills as possible clear their committee hearings before the deadline. Those bills that do not make the cut will be dead for this session.

At the governor’s front, we are looking forward to more amusement generated by our governor’s actions. She has already established her credentials with her Valley Girl giggling while taking her oath of office, and more recently with her issuing what has been characterized as her bad hair day executive order.

This week there were about a half dozen bills sent to the governor. As of the time of this writing, she had not taken any action on them. They were all good bills, but the food sales tax relief bill stands out above the rest.

SB1063 food; municipal tax; exemption…

This bill prohibits political subdivisions from imposing sales taxes on food that is clearly intended for home meals. It does not apply to food purchased at restaurants.

This bill is similar to the one about prohibiting sales taxes on residential rentals, which she has vetoed.

The smart money bet is that she will veto this bill also, because the two are closely related. They both deal with prohibiting taxation of the two most basic human needs, food and shelter.

It should be kept in mind that these taxes have the greatest effect on people in the lower income brackets, who are the people that she claims to support the most.

At the capitol, we saw a lot of action on bills, but two stand out because they are extremely important and, if approved by both chambers, they will go directly to a vote by the people, thus bypassing governor’s vetoes.

HCR2039 – governor; state of emergency If approved by the voters, this bill will significantly reduce the dictatorial behavior that a governor can assume during a real or manufactured state of emergency. The need for this measure was made painfully plain during the COVID 19 debacle. All NO votes on this bill came from Democrats. Everyone who opposes this bill is in favor of maintaining the current dictatorial powers of the governor.

SCR1034 – general appropriation bill; continuing appropriation If approved by voters, this bill would provide for continuation of appropriations at the previous year level if a budget is not agreed to by the end of the fiscal year. Under the current system it is very easy for a legislator to single-handedly hold a Damocles Sword over the citizens of Arizona. All they have to do is hold out on voting in favor of the budget until their demands are met. Those demands are generally met, disastrous as they might be, because a larger disaster would be to face July 1 without a budget. This constitutional amendment would remove that weapon from the arsenal of unscrupulous legislators. Everyone who opposes this bill is in favor of maintaining the current situation which allows one or a few individuals to cause a government shutdown.

We at Peoples Lobbyists strongly urge everyone to contact legislators in support of both HCR2039 and SCR1034.

For a report on what action has been taken on all the bills we are tracking click HERE

Next week will also be a busy week at the legislature. Of the 200+ bills we are tracking, 28 will have committee hearings. For a list of those bills, plus information and recommendations please click HERE

Have a wonderful week.