Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Quick legislative update, March 9, 2011 -

What a difference a day makes...

...On Tuesday, Sen. Scott Bundgaard (R-Domestic Violence Incident) was securely ensconced as the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, having successfully rebuffed any move to depose him because of the furor surrounding him.

On Wednesday, James King of the Phoenix New Times reported that Bundgaard is all but gone as majority leader, not least because a number of his colleagues aren't buying the story he spun Tuesday, that his girlfriend pulled a gun on him on the night of the incident that has precipitated the angst around him.

...On Tuesday, Senate President Russell Pearce's "hold" on his anti-immigrant bill until the state's budget is complete.

On Wednesday (actually, Tuesday night, but that doesn't fit in with the theme of this post :) ), he was moving the bills at full speed again.

Not really a surprise, but something of a disappointment - eternal optimist that I am, I had 6 days in the pool*. 

The "hold" lasted less than four days, and the lege wasn't even meeting on three of those days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday).

...On Tuesday, Scott Bundgaard was at work all day.

On Wednesday, he seems to have missed every vote.


Gaining final passage in the Senate on Wednesday:

SB1553, school vouchers, under the name of "Arizona Empowerment Accounts" - party line vote

SB1561, giving the legislature the ability to sweep and reappropriate "non-custodial" federal monies such as community block grants - party line vote

SCR1027, a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution to require that voters reauthorize any ballot measures that reserve or expend monies for a specific purpose (things like First Things First, placing AHCCCS eligibility at 100% of FPL, mandatory education funding, etc.) - party line vote

SCR1051, a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution to mandate that any voter-approved measure (initiative or referendum) that doesn't identify a funding source other than the state's general fund, then the measure is subject to legislative appropriation (or non-appropriation, as is more likely); a move to circumvent the Voter Protection Act, without seeming to do so - party line vote

Passed the House on Wednesday -

HB2523, expanding current law so that someone driving on a  license that is suspended or revoked for any reason who is involved in an accident resulting in death or injury is guilty of a class four or class five felony - passed on reconsideration, with bipartisan support and opposition

HB2707, further shackling state expenditures (TABOR by another name) - mostly party line vote (three Rs crossed over)

HCM2002, a postcard to the U.S. Congress requesting that they take the gray wolf off of the Endangered Species List - party line vote

...On Thursday, look for -

SB1282, exempting religious entities from registering as a political committee if it doesn't spend a "substantial" amount of its time or assets on attempts to influence elections. (Senate Third Read)

SB1365, banning payroll deductions for political purposes; aimed at unions. (Senate Third Read)

SCR1016, calling for a U.S. constitutional convention to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring that Congress gain the approval of a majority of state legislatures to approve before the federal debt limit is increased. (Senate Third Read)

SCR1019, a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution to lower the state's revenue expenditure limit; another TABOR bill. (Senate Third Read)

SCR1029, a proposed referendum to permanently ban photo enforcement of traffic laws in Arizona (Senate Third Read)

SCR1032, a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution to raise the passage threshold for ballot measure that raise or impose a tax from the current simply majority (50% + 1 vote) to a supermajority of 60%.  (Senate Third Read)

HB2484, taking the authority to fill legislative vacancies away from county boards of supervisors and giving it to the precinct committeement of the party of the vacating member of the legislature of that particular legislative district.  (House Third Read)

HB2501, mandating that if a rule adopted by a government agency or a law or ordinance adopted by a county or municipality, relating to permits, licenses, or zoning, is ambiguous, then that rule, law, or ordinance must be interpreted in favor of the applicant.  (House Third Read)

HB2581, expanding the STO tax credit.  (House Third Read)

HB2701, mandating that counties utilize the same reporting format when transmitting elections data to the Secretary of State; sounds harmless, but it is the brainchild of Jeff Dial, the Republican legislator who proposed a measure to ostracize poor people by mandating that food stamp cards be bright orange and identify the holder as a welfare recipient in big, bold, black lettering; in other words, while I don't know what brand of shoe is involved, I'm sure it's about to drop. (House Third Read)

* - Metaphor only, no actual gambling was taking place.  :)

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