LD1 Legislative Action Update 06/27/21
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
The Nerd Alert section of this email was started with the intent to impart a few "nerdy" legislative rules or procedures so we can all better understand what and why things happen at the legislature.
The state budget is actually a number of separate bills. Some are targeted to specific areas, for example, K-12 education.
The senate and house usually run the same budget bills concurrently. Before the final vote the second chamber passing the bill will substitute the other bill and vote on it.
The senate debated and passed bill enumerated SBXXXX. The House debated budget bills enumerated HBXXXX, amendments were added that had been added in the senate two days prior to make all the bills being reviewed, in both chambers, exactly the same. Once they were the same, before the final vote was taken, they substituted the senate bill for the house bill so both chambers could pass a bill with the same bill number.
Amendments can be offered on the floor during the Committee Of the Whole (COW) in both chambers to alter the content of a bill that has already gone through and passed committee hearings. These amendments are voted with a sham voice vote. The chair deciding the vote often has selective hearing on the number of yeas and nays. A roll call vote can be called after the voice vote necessitating the amendment be put up on the jumbotron board and legislators must vote for or against the amendment and their vote is recorded. For an amendment to pass in the House of Representatives during COW a majority of those present must vote affirmative. With the make up of the AZ House of Reps it was a foregone conclusion all, except one, Republican amendment would pass and all Dem amendments would fail.
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.
Howard Fischer published an article in the AZ Capitol Times on Saturday mentioning our two LD1 Reps. The Capitol Times has been a source of all things happening at the Capitol for years. The article is behind a paywall. Summary and quotes from the article given below.
Judy Burges LD1 inserted additional language into the laundry list of changes to K-12 education amendment. One of many controversial parts states there needs to be comparative discussion of political ideologies like communism and totalitarianism and how they “conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.” Rep. Daniel Hernandez seemed to light a fire in LD1 Rep Nguyen when he said “So, yes, let’s talk about communism. But the legislation misses the point". “You want to know what’s a bigger threat?” he asked. “White nationalism.” Rep Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam, rarely speaks on the floor. He was compelled to make the argument rather forcefully and loudly that white supremacists did not drown Vietnamese in the South China Sea, nor did white supremacists kill 86,000 people at the fall of Saigon. He ended his vote explanation by declaring he was "pissed". It was not entirely clear what or who he was pissed at. The language added by Burges also requires instruction on “the civic-minded expectations of an upright and desirable citizenry”. Curriculum development would be aided by the Freedom Center at ASU and UofA , centers funded by the Koch Bros. It would be overseen by the AZ School Board Association, who does not write curriculum. This curriculum circumvents the Dept. of Ed. The language was not however in the senate bill and at least one senator has said he does not support it so the senate needs to come up with a final version.
June 21 to June 25 AT THE LEGISLATURE The following is a brief summary of last week. The link below to the Legislative Weekly explains more on last week's disasters. It's not pretty but we need to become aware of what is happening.
On Tuesday June 22 the senate passed the Ducey/republican drafted budget during a marathon session ending about 2:30 a.m. 200 pages of amendments were offered by Senator Fann in the K-12 budget alone with over 100 additional amendment pages offered on other budget bills. The majority of these amendments were also from Senator Fann. Dem lawmakers were given little time to digest the amendments before voting.
The budget bills passed in the senate on Tuesday were voted in the house of representatives on Thursday and Friday. The amendments added in the senate needed to be added in the house so their bills would align.
The senate passed the expansion of vouchers. The house halted that provision when the amendment to add voucher expansion to the original K-12 bill did not pass.
A few bills, like SB1783, which had crossed chambers but not heard on the floor suddenly came to life. SB1783 creates a new tax category for small business allowing a business owner who may have previously filed business taxes on their individual forms to now use the new category thereby circumventing paying the Prop 208 surcharge. This change alone could slash $378 million from expected benefits from Prop. 208. This is separate and in addition to decreased funding from the flat tax.
There is so much info contained in The Weekly, please click and read.
The Weekly will explain 2 bills coming up for a vote next week. Both harmful.
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.