LD1 Legislative Action Update 06/20/21
Contributed 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
June 14 to June 18 AT THE LEGISLATURE
On Thursday June 17th HB2001 was passed in Special Session. The Special Session called by the governor to appropriate almost $100 million for fire suppression due to wildfires lasted 3 days. The bill passed with bipartisan support with only 2 house members and 2 senate members voting against. While most democrats voted for the bill they voiced their displeasure with the lack of attention to long term plans and acceptance of the role climate change has on the state's wildfires. The governor signed the bill on June 18th.
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.
Rep. Nguyen issued a meaningless proclamation this week. He asked his House colleagues to join him calling on Senator Mark Kelly to recuse himself from the vote to confirm ATF nominee David Chipman.
In other words, Nguyen, President of the AZ Rifle and Pistol Association, who votes on state gun laws, is accusing Sen. Kelly of a conflict of interest. Find proclamation here. It's a doozy!
What to expect this week: Maybe a budget, and bills (aka bribes) coming off the shelf.
Introduction of cross over bills ended months ago. However, SCR1010, a Resolution by Kelly Townsend, now has a striker amendment attached and is scheduled to be heard in the Elections and Government Committee on Tuesday June 22. The striker changed the resolution and now calls for a convention of states to be held on Sept.15 at the AZ state senate building. The purpose is to address the actions by the federal government that impair or threaten the constitutional and traditional rights of American citizens and recommend corrective action to all state governments. RTS is open. Although this looks like a quid pro quo for Townsend's budget vote, she has made clear her conditions for her yes vote on the budget have not been met, yet. Two bills having passed the full Senate and House Committee Hearings are suddenly making it to a floor vote on Monday, June 21. Both are voter/elections bills. SB1241, from Kelly Townsend (coincidence?) wants in person voters to receive a receipt after voting. While there may be pros and cons to this, no county recorders were consulted to determine the cost and feasibility and the Secretary of State is against this change. SB1083 by Michelle Ugenti-Rita reduces the automatic recount margin after an election. This will be costly. Current statute already demands a recount at a statistically significant number. SB1241 and SB1083 have passed committee so the usual RTS is not available, However if you are registered with Request To Speak you can log on and instead of choosing New Request you can choose My Bill Positions. Legislators will see who is weighing-in for or against. This system does not allow comments but they can see how many people are watching.
What is happening with the budget?
Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers threatens to vote on a skinny budget on Tuesday if a budget agreement is not reached. A skinny budget refers to a budget that allows state operations to continue but would not include a tax cut or the few positive pieces of the Republican proposed budget. They could vote for a skinny budget, stay in session and continue to approve funding or changes in statute. Or they could pass a skinny budget and adjourn (sine die) for the session.
Other reports have a deal underway to reduce the tax cut from $1.9 billion to $1.2 billion, and create two tax brackets 2.55% and 2.98% with a cap at 5.5%. The cuts would phase in over 2 years. Remember the cap is in response to the increase Prop 208 would impose on high income earners only.
The ew proposal, not backed by everyone, but in discussion is given below. It slightly reduces the tax cut and pays down a small amount of debt but does little to catch up funding still short from the recession. Remember, tax cuts mean less revenue going into the general fund to pay for services.
And then Senator Fann has said the senate still intends to come up with a workable budget although Senator Townsend wants to withhold her vote until an audit is performed on the votes for Prop. 208 and results from the current audit are known.
There is NO Legislative Weekly for this week. Bill and Budget Information
Check out the newsletter from CEBV here.
Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (CEBV) will keep us updated on their Facebook page facebook.com/AZCEBVus and their twitter account @AZCEBVus.
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/
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.