LD1 Legislative Action Update 04/25/21
By Ruth Lambert, LD1 Democrats Legislative Liaison
LD1 Update newsletters are sent each Sunday when the Legislature is in Session. Focus is on actions by LD1 Legislators.
LEGISLATIVE NERD ALERT
The Arizona 55th Legislature - first Regular Session hit it's 100th day last week. The clock always seems to start ticking more loudly at this point for two reasons. A Budget must be set before the Fiscal year begins in July. And then there is the per diem thing. If the Legislature is still in Session at the 120 day mark the per diem compensation rate for each Legislator plunges. A striker amendment is working it's way through the process to both increase the per diem rate and to eliminate the 120 day plunge. An emergency clause is attached to this Bill which allows it to go into effect immediately after the Governor would sign it. Usually an effective date is 90 days after the Session ends.
What are Karen Fann, Judy Burges and Quang Nguyen up to?
Contact Info and Committee Assignments
Senator Karen Fann email@example.com 602-926-5874 Senate Rules Committee
House Representative Judy Burges firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-3256 Committee Assignments Nat'l Resources, Energy & Water; Government and Elections; Military Affairs Affairs & Public Safety
House Representative Quang Nguyen
Appropriations; Education; Judiciary;
Military Affairs & Public Safety
Remember, when you phone in a concern, comment or request you will speak to an Assistant who relays your message. You may request a call back if you wish. Emails are read by both an Assistant and the Legislator.
Senator Fann in the news this past week
The petition to invalidate Prop 208 funding public education finally made it to the Az Supreme Court. Senator Fann is one of the Chief petitioners trying to have the Invest In Ed Initiative declared unconstitutional. The Court heard arguments, is taking the case under advisement. and will give a decision soon.
Senator Fann's audit of the 2020 election, aided by the Cyber Ninjas and a host of conspiracy theorists continued to make news this week. The Maricopa Sheriff's Dept. received a request from our Senator, with one day notice, to provide security at the audit venue until May 14 at an estimated cost of $175,000. (on April 24, private citizen #45 sent a letter to Governor Ducey instructing him to send the National Guard to the Madness on McDowell audit to protect the good patriots conducting the audit.
Wednesday was field trip day for Senator Fann. All business in the Senate came to a halt as Senator Fann and a few other Senators joined the Governor at the Arizona/Mexico Border for a photo op. Not invited was Senator Lisa Otondo-D, LD4, whose district occupies the largest stretch of border land.
On Thursday The Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court saying that the audit is unlawful and asking a judge to stop it from proceeding. The Democratic Party will not pay the requested Million dollar bond which allows the audit to proceed. However, there is still a Hearing set for Monday where the Audit people must present their operating procedures and agree to follow state law.
Votes last Week
SB1485 The cliff note version SB1485, the PEVL purge Bill received YES votes from both LD1 Reps in the House and a YES vote from Sen. Fann in the Senate. The rest of the story Lots of drama in both Chambers on Tuesday as SB1485 was added to the agenda. In the House Rep Burges along with 3 other Republicans needed to rush to the Capitol to vote. Earlier in the Session the Majority party did not want to allow remote voting to count for quorum. Commenting and voting is allowed. When the Minority party realized if they left the building, quorum would not be reached, they did so! Eventually everyone was in the building and SB1485 passed along party lines. It did run into a roadblock in the Senate when Kelly Townsend R-LD16 voted NO. She wants to wait until the "audit" is finished and they have a report. There was a heated exchange before the Bill sponsor Sen. Ugenti-Rita joined Townsend and the Dems in defeating the Bill. Rita can now make a motion to Reconsider the Bill since she was on the prevailing side of the vote. Sen. Sen. Townsend does support the PEVL purge but wants to wait for audit results before voting for any elections Bills. This graphic, borrowed from this week's Civic Engagement Beyond Voting email, depicts the exchange between Senators Townsend and Ugenti-Rita to a T.
This coming week IN THE HOUSE
Passed House Rules. Could make it to a Floor vote this coming week where Reps. Nguyen and Burges will have a vote. Email or call now.
SB1007 There presently exists a list of situations where a parent-child relationship can be severed. SB1007 adds to that list the instance, where evidence is shown, that the child was conceived because of sexual assault resulting in a pregnancy.
SB1486 This Bill changes the classification of drug testing strips. Unfortunately it is becoming all too common for a variety of drugs to be laced with fentanyl . Testing strips exist to detect fentanyl. Presently these strips are classified as drug paraphernalia. SB1486 would take the strips out of that category allowing them to be used to detect drugs altered to the point of having fatal results.
IN THE SENATE Sen. Fann has a vote
HB2792 hits the Senate Floor on Monday. It is a vindictive effort stating that Early Ballots cannot be sent to voters unless they have requested them. To deal with Covid concerns the Maricopa Co. Recorder tried to send ballots to all voters for the 2020 Primary but was stopped. Statute was unclear as it did not say ballots for all was prohibited nor did it say the practice was allowed. This Bill would prohibit Elections officials from making that call in an unusual circumstance. HB2575 The only Bill sponsored by Rep Quang Nguyen makes it to the Senate for a final vote. HB2575 allowing clergy into a hospital during a pandemic was modified in both the House and the Senate from the original version Rep. Nguyen submitted. One amendment stipulates the clergy visit must be allowed by the hospital's visitation policy as opposed to the original version which dictated to hospitals. Note: the Secular Coalition called to give the Secular perspective of the "clergy Bill" and Rep. Nguyen simply hung up on them.
HB2427 contains a striker to resurrect the Bill eliminating school attendance boundaries. Bill passed the Senate Committee of the Whole on April 22 and is scheduled for a floor vote on Monday April 26. Bill eliminates the concept of neighborhood schools.
Bills passed and sitting on Governor's desk.
HB2016 allows the Department of Economic Security (DES) to waive all or a part of the work requirements to keep receiving aid. Waivers require the person to be enrolled in an educational or training program that will lead to employment allowing them to exit the state cash assistance program. The present system worked to penalize those in full time school or training programs. Bill was transmitted to Governor on 4/22. SB1457 passed both Chambers on Thursday. SB1457 inserts Government into private medical decisions, punishes healthcare providers and puts constraints on research. Bill was brought back from the dead and used various parliamentary procedures. Since it was a Senate Bill, the Senate sends it to the Governor. However, the Senate adjourned for the weekend prior to the House vote. Bill should be transmitted to the Governor on Monday. Vetoed by Governor On April 20th Governor Ducey vetoed the sex education revision Bill. He stated SB1456 was too broad and not well defined. Rather than just veto the Bill he issued an executive order to increase parents' accessibility to curriculum materials. Since parents already had easy access to materials and no educators were consulted before issuing the order the intent is dubious. It will create more of a timing and administrative burden than anything curriculum related.
Legislative Weekly Bill and Budget Information
The Legislative Weekly report gives you up to the minute info on a variety of Bills and actions at the State Legislature
Looking for other Proposed Legislation information sources?
The Sierra Club website has a Legislative tab for environmental issues. https://www.sierraclub.org/arizona/2021-legislative-updates Save Our Schools has an Update on Legislative Education Issues on their website. https://sosarizona.org/2021-leg-updates/ Not signed up yet for Request To Speak (RTS)? Go to Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (CEBV) https://www.cebv.us/ After you complete and submit the form someone will go to the Capitol for you to create your account (required) and send you a confirming email with instructions and a temporary password. When you create your account with them you will automatically receive the Legislative Weekly directly from CEBV. It is the same document accessed through the link that is provided in this newsletter each Sunday.
You need sign up for Request To Speak only one time, your account does not expire. The system recognizes your email address, and allows one account per email address. Need help understanding RTS? Register here for Sunday Open House to learn about upcoming Bills and have RTS questions answered. State Senators and Reps often drop by to add comments and updates. Sundays 4:00 - 6:00 4:00 RTS info 5:00 Redistricting info when available Attend one or many Open Houses. Drop in for a quick question or stay as long as you like.
Arizona State Legislature website.
You can access most of the Legislature's website without an RTS account. Find the State Constitution, members info, current or past Bills' information plus the calendar of upcoming events.
Account creation is needed only for the Request To Speak portion of website https://www.azleg.gov/
LD1 Legislative Action has a Facebook page. Just like this Update newsletter the focus of the Facebook page tries to center on our State Legislature. It is a closed group, meaning anyone can see it exists but you must ask to be admitted. Only members see posts, click here. LD1 Legislative Action gmail address. Let us know how we're doing! Comments and suggestions always welcome. If you received this email forwarded from a friend, you may request to be added to the distribution list with the email below. Just send your name and email address.