Saturday, June 06, 2009

The coming week - legislative edition

The norm for this series of posts is to list political schedules in descending order of level of government (federal, state, county, local). However, since Bob Burns, the President of the AZ Senate decided to open the floodgates after five months of blockading bills, the lege will rate its own separate post.

And even at that, it's going to be a long one.

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona has a briefer post on this topic here.

As usual, all info gathered from the relevant political body's website, and subject to change without notice. And in the case of the AZ lege, expect such changes every week until the end of the session.

...First the easy part, the AZ House of Representatives.

- House Rules is meeting on Monday at 1 p.m. in HHR4; the highlight there is HCR2014, Nancy Barto's (R-Shadegg's doppelganger) move to protect Big Healthcare's and Big Insurance's profit margins.

- House Health and Human Services is meeting on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in HHR4.

- The House also has a caucus calendar posted for Monday, and a COW calendar posted for Tuesday. Both look pretty non-controversial, except for caucus consideration of the aforementioned HCR2014.

...Now on to the AZ Senate.

- First the good news - the Senate hasn't posted any floor, COW, or caucus schedules yet.

Of course, that is bad news for folks who are trying to plan out a visit to the lege and would like to know what to expect.

- Now the bad news - after weeks of a sparsely-populated committee schedule, they're all meeting this week. And most of them have long agendas.

- Monday at 1:30 p.m., Senate Judiciary is meeting in SHR1. Highlights (a term to be used loosely throughout this post :) ) include SB1123, Sen. Jonathan Paton's plan to force the City of Tucson to make their municipal elections non-partisan (I guess he objects to the idea of Democrats winning seats on the city council there) and SB1243, Sen. Russell Pearce's scheme to legalize showing off firearms in an intimidating manner (aka "defensive display").

- Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., Senate Natural Resources will meet in SHR109. Highlights here include SB1147 , Russell Pearce's move to bar state agencies from from regulating fuel economy or greenhouse gas emissions without explicit legislative approval; and Sen. Sylvia Allen's SB1259 and SB1260, moves to protect mine operators from the costs of mine reclamation (aka - repairing the damage that their mining operation caused to the land it was on).

- Tuesday at 1:30 p.m, Senate Commerce will meet in SHR1. Short agenda thus far.

- Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., Senate Appropriations will meet in SHR109. This one is packed with all sorts of ugly, and some of it even has to do with appropriating money. Most of the agenda doesn't though - this is just a friendly forum for some really bad legislation.

* A strike-everything amendment to SB1023. This amendment would allow insurers to claim up to a total of $10 million in tax credits for money given to STOs (What? You thought those went away with the end of the special session to ensure Steve Yarbrough's financial security?) and removes the sunset date (June 30, 2011) for the STO tax credits.

* A striker to SB1024 (text not available as of this writing) relating to "tax credits; withholding tax reduction."

* A striker to SB1038. The amendment related to revenue sharing with Native American tribes. I'm not sure about the net effect of this amendment (since I'm not familiar with the status quo), but since Russell Pearce's name is on a measure that impacts a racial or ethnic minority, I assume it's a screwjob.

* SB1444, Cap'n Senator Al Melvin's plan to for the legislature to confiscate all "non-custodial" federal monies sent to AZ (such as block grants) so that the lege may allocate the monies as it sees fit.

* SCR1006, Russell Pearce's attempt to impose stringent, TABOR-like limits on state government by limiting state appropriations to 6.4% of total personal income in the state

* SCR1009, Pearce's scheme to break the Voter Protection Act to allow the Republicans in the lege to "reallocate" funds that would otherwise be dedicated to healthcare, children, and education. A very bad proposal.

* SCR1031, Pearce's (by way of Ward Connerly) anti-affirmative action amendment to the state constitution.

*SCR1038, Sen. Ron Gould's "F-U" to the federal government. Actually, he refers to it as "assertion of sovereignty" under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Whew! That's a lot, enough for any three weeks in the Senate, but we aren't even halfway through the committees.

- Wednesday, Senate Veterans and Military Affairs will meet at in SHR2. The highlight here looks to be a striker to SCR1004 (text not available as yet). The name attached to it (Harper) and the title of it are what leads me to believe that this one will be particularly bad - "American Sovereignty Restoration Act."

- Wednesday, Senate Public Safety and Human Services will be meeting at 8:30 a.m. in SHR3. Highlights here include SB1138, Sen. Linda Gray's definition of and penalties for the already-illegal-under-federal-law partial-birth abortions; and strikers to SB1206 (relating to abortion) and SB1448 (relating to "healthcare distinctive; guardian decisions"). The language of the strikers isn't yet available, so that last may be harmless, but this week, that isn't a safe assumption.

- Wednesday, Senate Healthcare will meet at 9 a.m. in SHR1. As expected from a committee chaired by Sen. Carolyn Allen, this agenda is filled with measures that actually help Arizonans.

- Wednesday, Senate Finance will meet at 1:30 p.m. in SHR3. Highlights here include SB1324, Senator Barbara Leff's proposal to reduce the corporate income tax rate by almost 35%; SB1325, Leff's and Barto's proposal to let private insurers issue health coverage policies that don't offer certain heretofore mandatory coverages. This one should have been titled "Health insurers: enhanced profit margins."

- Wednesday, Senate Education will meet at 1:30 p.m. in SHR1. 9 out of the 12 items on the current agenda have Sen. John Huppenthal's name attached to them. These include strikers to SB1196 (Education Omnibus) and SB1375 (student information; written request) for which language isn't available yet, and SB1386, making it easier for charter schools to renew their charters, and for longer periods of time. The highlight, though, is Huppenthal's SB1393, a bill to compel public schools to accomodate students' private religious views in assignments, grading, and expression of those views, even in a hateful manner, in school.

- Thursday, Senate Retirement and Rural Development will meet at 9 a.m. in SHR3. Short agenda thus far.

- Thursday, Senate Government Institutions will be meeting at 9:30 a.m. in SHR1. Highlights here include Sen. Jack Harper's SB1109, a move to make it easier for political candidates and committees to strike voters from the rolls of registered by letting them submit names of voters they think are dead to the Secretary of State's website and SB1171, Russell Pearce's ban on new state agency regulations.

...There's some interesting stuff going on at other bodies/agencies this week, but those matters can wait for tomorrow.



Jen said...

I have no idea where to begin bashing on this laundry list. I don't know how you do it or why you'd ruin a beautiful weekend to parse through all the legislative hate and discrimination to put it out eloquently and free of interjection for all of us here.

The last little piece of "business" (which in my house means "poop"), re: voters the candidates or committees think (wish) are begging for more and more elections to be subject to court intervention because Jane Doe was turned away and thought dead though she had the pulse and the documentation to prove otherwise.

Man, next time my gals and I are up in PHX we have to meet you for a drink.

I hear there's a progressive candidate workshop coming to town. Free. :::hint, hint:::

cpmaz said...

Well, it wasn't really ruining a beautiful weekend - my work schedule includes Saturdays. I did that post to help me decompress after the end of the week.

The situation at the Senate is bad, but it looks even worse than usual because what they would normally have spread out over 5 or 6 months they are pushing through in 2 or 3 weeks.

I'd love to meet for a drink if we can synch up our schedules.

That progressive candidate workshop sounds like a great idea. What are you running for? :)