Monday, April 05, 2010

The coming week - legislative edition

Yes, it's a little late. Monday's activity has already taken place, but the rest of the week (particularly Wednesday) promises to be colorful.

As usual, all info gathered from the website of the Arizona Legislature, except where noted, and subject to change without notice...

Over on the House side -

- Government will meet on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in HHR4. Highlights include: a striker to SB1042 to limit municipal governments and their ability to levy building permit fees; SB1363 and SB1366, relating to restricting the use of eminent domain; and SB1398, requiring that "a city, town, county, or special taxing district (local government) to demand that the federal or state government coordinate with the city, town, county or district before implementing, enforcing or extending federal regulations." (from the fact sheet prepared by legislative staff)

That last seems to be targeted at things like federal environmental laws and such, but the authors of the bill may be getting a little too cute for their own good. There is a very good chance that by this time next year, possession of marijuana for medical purposes could be allowed.

That is something the federal government has consistently opposed, ignoring state and local laws all over the country to raid and arrest medical marijuana providers and users.

Their bill (sponsors like Sylvia Allen, Russell Pearce, and Ron Gould) is so broadly written that it may force cities and towns, even the ones that elect the likes of Allen, Pearce, and Gould (who are not exactly fans of the medical marijuana initiative) to interfere with federal enforcement of federal drug laws.

- Military Affairs and Public Safety will meet on Wednesday at 9 a,m. in HHR3. On the agenda: a striker to SB1005 to exempt trap and skeet shooting facilities from taxation. This one has been floating around all session, failing in the House last week as HB2526.

- Health and Human Services will meet on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in HHR4. On the agenda: SB1304, the Center for Arizona Theocracy Policy-written scheme to limit availability of abortion services by imposing all sorts of reporting requirements on health care providers; and SB1324, mandating that the AZ Department of Administration expend some of its resources to procure and provide identity theft protection services to state employees and officers. Call it the "guaranteed contract for LifeLock" bill.

- Commerce will meet at 8 a.m. on Wednesday in HHR5. On the agenda: SCR1009 and SCR1043, two schemes to kill Clean Elections in Arizona; and SB1242, a bill to protect employers from labor actions.

- Appropriations will meet at 2 p.m on Wednesday in HHR1. The agenda is short (four items), but packs a punch. The highlight here is SB1104, a Russell Pearce special that would place stringent and inflexible limits on government expenditures.

- Water and Energy will meet on Thursday at 9 a.m. in HHR5. This agenda is even short (two items) but this one has SCR1046, declaring that "non-navigable" waters in Arizona aren't subject to federal regulatory jurisdiction.

- Transporation and Infrastructure will meet at 9 a.m. on Thursday in HHR3. Looks quiet so far.

- Judiciary will meet on Thursday at 9 a.m. in HHR4. On the agenda: SB1362, allowing the award of attorney fees in eminent domain cases under certain circumstances; also, SCR1009 and SCR1043, ending Clean Elections as mentioned above, are on this agenda.

...Over on the Senate side -

- Commerce and Economic Development will meet on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in SHR1. The agenda looks long but quiet, but in a curious development, it has two strikers with the working title "Tourism; TPT distribution; reinstatement." Actually, HB2243 has already been amended while they're offering an amendment to HB2309 that looks to be identical.

- Appropriations will meet on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in SHR109. On the agenda: HCR2039 (if approved by the voters, it would suspend protection from legislative appropriations of ballot-approved revenues) and HCR2041 (mandating periodic reauthorization of voter-approved measures that require expenditures).

- Veterans and Military Affairs will meet on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in SHR2. Quiet so far.

- Public Safety and Human Services will meet on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in SHR3. On the agenda: HB2650, imposing a 180 waiting period on divorces.

- Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform will meet on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in SHR1. Looks quiet so far.

- Finance will meet Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. in SHR1. This agenda is the worst of the week, hands down. On the agenda:

...HB2250, the Rs' corporate tax cut bill. The bill has a fiscal note on it from JLBC showing that it will cost the state over $940 million per year by FY2017. However, this one now has a same-subject striker proposed (the link to HB2250) and I am not sure what that proposal's impact will be.

Update on 4/6 - The Arizona Capitol Times has a report up on the striker. It's a slightly watered-down version of the original bill. The biggest change is the removal of a cut to personal income taxes, but leaving the corporate tax cuts in place or, at worst, delayed.

End update.

...a striker to HB2001 to allow faculty members at the state's public community colleges and universities to carry concealed weapons on campus.

...a striker to HB2035 related to "consumer loans; origination fees." This one caused a hubbub, with many observers (like this one) believing that this one was being used to attempt to revive the payday loan industry. I'm not sure the language in the current striker does that, but something new could be wheeled in at the last minute.

...HB2496, extending the contribution date for donations to school tuition organizations so that donations made as late as April of this year can receive a tax credit against last year's taxes.

...a striker for HB2509, reducing corporate property taxes and for other things (related to the "reform" of corporate taxation.

- Education Accountability and Reform will meet on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in SHR1. On the agenda: HB2731 (creating a new class of high school diploma, the "Grand Canyon Diploma"; a striker to HCR2038 (ending Clean Elections by removing and re-appropriating its funds); and a possible striker (language not posted yet) to HCR2057 relating to "failing schools; vouchers."

- Government Institutions will meet on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in SHR1. On this agenda: HB2602, granting law enforcement officers warrantless access to restricted records held by the County Recorder; and a striker to HB2478. The agenda refers to a striker concerning "development fees" but the only striker posted relates to Maricopa County's library district and the lege mandating how the district's revenue is apportioned.


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