Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Summary of Tuesday's Senate Appropriations Committee meeting...

In case you missed it, and given that they were going strong well into the wee hours of the morning, you probably did.

Note:  when a bill description is in quotes, it's quoted from the summary of that bill crafted by legislative staff.

Note2 - I didn't see the discussion for most of the bills because of the late hour, so for the most part, I am not including any of those here.

- SB1611, Russell Pearce's latest attack on people with brown skin.  Passed 7 - 6.  The four Democratis on the committee opposing, as did Republicans Rich Crandell and Sylvia Allen.  Crandall suffers from occasional bouts of decency, so his vote wasn't entirely surprising.  Allen, however, is a close friend and ally of Pearce, and usually is completely on board the nativist train.  Senior moment?

- SB1308 and SB1309, the anti-14th Amendment bills, passed by identical 8 - 5 votes (1308 and 1309).  All four Democrats on the committee, as did Republican Crandall.

- SB1405, turning Arizona's hospitals into immigration checkpoints, passed 8 - 5.  Same voting pattern as above.

- SB1407, requiring school districts to collect data on students who cannot prove lawful residency in the U.S. and district, and requires districts to forward the info to the state.  Passed 8 - 5.  Same voting pattern as above.

- SB1519, completely repealing AHCCCS, Arizona's Medicaid program.  Passed 8 - 5.  Same voting pattern as above.

- SB1380, mandating drug testing for welfare recipients, passed 9 - 3, 1 not voting.  Three Democrats opposed, and one (David Schapira) was out of the room when the vote was taken.

- SB1115, ending the Arizona Board of Regents, who oversee the state's universities, and replacing the Board with Boards of Trustees for each individual campus, passed 9 - 4.  Party line vote.

- SCR1014, related to SB1115, removing from the Arizona Constitution language regarding the Board of Regents.  Passed 9 - 4.  Party line vote.

- SCR1045, completely policizing the selection of Arizona judges by removing language in the AZ Constitution requiring professional evaluations and screening by the Arizona Bar Association for the attorney candidates for the various judicial selection commissions in Arizona.  Passed 9 - 4.  Party line vote.

SB1141, "Requires parents, or persons who have custody, of a child who will attend a public, private or charter school to provide verifiable documentation of Arizona residency, and requires school districts and charter schools to maintain the documentation", passed by a 9 - 4 vote.  Party line vote.

- SB1497, gives "Arizona Constitutional and statutory rights of public agencies to the legal entities created through intergovernmental agreements."  Passed 9 - 4.  Party line vote.

- SB1589, further privatizing the operations of MVD.  Passed 9 - 3, one not voting.  Three Democrats opposed, Kyrsten Sinema out of the room when the vote was taken.

- SB1540, "Establishes the removal or defacing of political mailers, handouts and flyers as a class 2 misdemeanor and requires a condominium and planned community to allow door to door political activity."  Passed 11 - 2, Aboud and Cajero Bedford dissenting.

- HB2016, updating language regarding budget reports.  Passed 12 - 1, Aboud dissenting.

- SB1013, tranferring the Arizona Capitol Police, currently a part of the AZ Department of Administration, to the Department of Public Safety.  Passed 11 - 0, 2 not voting.  Schapira and Cajero Bedford were out of the room when the vote was taken.

- SB1113, barring "existing licensed facilities operated by the state or contracted with the Department of Economic Security (DES) to provide intermediate care facilities for mental retardation services for developmental disability members", passed 13 - 0.

- SB1353, "Repeals state photo enforcement and adds an assessment of $10 on every civil penalty or fine resulting from a citation issued by a peace officer for a traffic offense. Requires a municipality to use monies to supplement funds available for the purchase of protective armor, electronic stun devices and other safety equipment." Passed 13 - 0.

- SB1583, updating the membership of the state nursing board.  Passed 13 - 0.

- SB1039, creating a "home certificate program" relating to trust deeds and housing finance.  Complete legislative summary here.  Passed 13 - 0.

Of course, one should not forget the passage of the most vital bill of the entire legislative session, one that is key to the future success of the entire state.

SB1610, declaring that the Colt Single Action Army Revolver is the state's official firearm.  Passed 9 - 4.  Party line vote.  I saw the debate on this one.  The Democrats didn't actually object to the content of the bill, just the fact that is was being considered while the Republican majority refuses to address the real problems facing the state.


Seriously, we should all thank the four Democratic members of the committee, Senators Aboud, Cajero Bedford, Schapira, and Sinema, as well as the committee and facility staffers who stayed throughout the entire proceeding.  Contrary to some of the evidence, there are still a few dedicated public servants in Arizona.

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