LD1 Legislative Action Update 03/14/21
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: BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH
March 15th starts the 10th week of the 55th State Legislature-First Regular Session. Bills now have only two more weeks to make it out of Committees in their cross over Chamber. Stragglers could be heard in Rules and Appropriations during the last week of the month then there will only be Floor Sessions to vote on Bills surviving Committee Hearings. IF the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House knows there are not enough votes to pass a Bill they deem vital, they will not put it on a Floor Calendar.
The one task a state legislature must accomplish each year is to pass a budget. Unfortunately budget negotiations happen behind closed doors. Often good, bad and ugly appropriations can be included in the budget that would not have made it as a stand alone Bill.
This year's budget is expected to contain some major tax cuts while lawmakers are claiming there is not enough money for other needed expenditures.
DID YOU HEAR? Many of us have been watching the two Bills, SB1175 and HB2248, taking policy decisions away from the AZ Corporation Commission and giving energy policy power to the State Legislature. Senator Paul Boyer spoke out on March 11th saying he would not support SB1175. Although the the mirror House Bill HB2248 passed out of the House along party lines, 31/29, Boyer's stance halts it's progress in the Senate Unless something strange happens it appears both Bills are dead.
What are Karen Fann, Judy Burges and Quang Nguyen up to?
Contact Info and Committee Assignments
Senator Karen Fann firstname.lastname@example.org 602-926-5874 Senate Rules Committee
House Representative Judy Burges email@example.com 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.
How did LD1 Legislators vote this past week?
Karen Fann: a sample of Floor Votes
Voting/elections SCR1034 Voted YES on 3/10 Allows the Legislature to amend or divert funds from a Citizen Initiative if the Court subsequently finds fault with the language of the Initiative. Would allow the Legislature to adopt a measure which supersedes the Initiative without furthering the intent of the Initiative. Unemployment SB1411 Senator Fann is Bill sponsor. Voted YES on 3/11 Increases the Weekly Unemployment Benefit Amount (WBA) from $240 to $320 after the expiration of any Federally funded unemployment aid. Reduces the number of weeks someone may collect unemployment from 26 weeks to either 22 weeks or 20 weeks depending on the unemployment rate in the State. The 26 weeks would apply during a state of emergency situation when the unemployment rate was less than 6%. Increases the mount a person collecting unemployment may make working a part time job without a penalty from $30 to $160. Increases, from $7,000 to $8,000, the state unemployment tax taxable wages limit beginning in calendar year 2022. Abortion SB1362 Voted YES on 3/8 to pass Bill on to the House Allows specified health care entities, professionals, employees, schools and students to assert moral, ethical and religious objections to abortion and related medications and devices and not be held liable. Adds a variety of occupations to the present statute aimed at health care providers.
Quang Nguyen and Judy Burges A sample of Floor Votes
Education SB1097 Both Reps. voted NO on 3/11 Bill passed 37-23 Sent to Governor. Identifies an absence due a pupil's mental or behavioral health as an excused absence. SB1165 Both Reps voted NO on 3/11 Bill passed 33/27 Sent to Governor An emergency measure that exempts school districts and charter schools from conducting performance evaluations of teachers and principals for the 2020-2021 school year.
This coming week - March 15-19 RTS Opportunities on Bills where LD1 Legislators will have a vote In the Senate Rules Committee Karen Fann has a vote
HB2111 Prohibits the state of Arizona from using personnel or financial resources to enforce any United States (U.S.) government law that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms. OPPOSE In the House Monday Military Affairs and Public Safety Reps Nguyen and Burges have votes SB1786 Requires Arizona Dept. of Corrections to establish a Pilot Program to provide eligible inmates with transition services in the community. Appropriates $1,300,000. SUPPORT
Tuesday Education Committee Quang Nguyen has a vote SB1529 Appropriates $114,000 Requires each county that operates a county jail to offer an education program to serve: a) Prisoners who are 21 years old or younger and who do not have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma; and b) Prisoners with disabilities who are 21 years old or younger. SUPPORT Wednesday Appropriations Quang Nguyen has a vote SB1514 Appropriates $5,000,000 for emergency shelter beds in western Maricopa County to shelter and serve homeless seniors who are at least fifty-five years of age. SUPPORT
SB1680 Requires the Newborn Screening Program (Program) to include all congenital disorders included on the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). Modifies Program fees, timeline and recommendation requirements. SUPPORT
Government Judy Burges has a vote SB1003 Allows a voter only until at 7:00 p.m. on election day to add their name to a mailed in ballot. Currently Recorders are using the curing period of 5 days to not only verify a questionable signature but to also obtain the signature. OPPOSE Judiciary Quang Nguyen has a vote SB1457 Classifies, as a class 3 felony, knowingly performing an abortion knowing that it is sought because of a genetic abnormality of the child. Enumerates rights given to an unborn child. OPPOSE
MANY MORE BILLS AVAILABLE FOR RTS
CHECK THE LEGISLATIVE WEEKLY Legislative Weekly REQUEST TO SPEAK (RTS) Bill Info The Legislative Weekly report gives you up to the minute info on a variety of Bills at the State Legislature, which ones will be open for RTS or require phone/ email contact to a Legislator.
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.
ContactsArizona 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 Face Book page. Just like this Update newsletter the focus of the Face Book 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.