Sunday, February 19, 2012

The coming week...

It's shaping up to be a relatively quiet week at the Arizona legislature...emphasis on "relatively".  There are still going to be a number of controversial bills, but not the large number that we've seen in recent weeks.  Of course, agendas, particularly those for meetings later in the week, are subject to change without notice.

While many sources have reported that bills that haven't been heard in committee in their originating chamber as yet are dead, that isn't completely true - the Appropriations Committees can and are still hearing bills that originated in their respective chambers.

Most of the committee agendas are short, but they still have nuggets of ugly.

For example -

- House Energy and Natural Resources (Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4) has an agenda with only one item on it - SB1054.  That measure would raise the daily limit on hours that underground miners may work from 8 hours per day to 12 hours per day (a 50% hike).  In addition, it would remove language from state law that states that underground mining is hazardous and dangerous.

- House Appropriations (Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR1) has an agenda with two very bad measures - HB2675, mandating that all public university students contribute at least $2000 per year of their own money toward tuition, no matter how poor they might be; and HCR2032, a proposed amendment to the AZ constitution that would impose TABOR-like restrictions on Arizona's state government.

- Senate Banking and Insurance's (Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR3) agenda has HB2079, Rep. Jack Harper's bill to make it easier for mortgage loan originators to obtain a mortgage broker's license (Harper works as a mortgage loan officer for a mortgage broker.  Hmmm...).

- Senate Appropriations (Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109) has an agenda with SB1495, a measure from Sen. Steve Smith that would require all applicants and recipients of unemployment insurance payments to submit to drug testing; SB1333, establishing a "council" and funding for the Rs to fight any federal laws that they don't like; and SB1421, a long and complicated bill from Sen. Don "Tequila" Shooter with the subject "uninsurable individuals; health insurance plan".  It's from Shooter, so it's safe to presume two things - 1) he didn't write it; and 2) it's bad for Arizonans.

- Senate Public Safety and Human Services' (Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR3) agenda has HB2442, which would make prisoners on parole, probation, community supervision, or home detention pay for any drug testing that they are subject to as a condition of the status.

- Senate Commerce and Energy's (Wednesday 9 a.m., SHR109) agenda has HB2026, a measure from Jack Harper that would lower the threshold that real estate brokers must meet in order to renew a real estate sales license.  It has an "emergency" clause.  Not sure why Harper thinks this is an "emergency", but if it passes the Senate with a 2/3 majority and is signed into law by the governor, it will be effective immediately instead of the normal 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

The full list of House committee agendas is here; the full list of Senate agendas is here.  Floor calendars are posted here

The lege's Capitol Events calendar is here; the Arizona Capitol Times' calendar of events is here

Unless another legislator unexpectedly resigns this week, or another county sheriff unexpectedly comes out of the closet, the biggest political event of the week should be one that won't be at the Capitol - Wednesday's Republican Presidential debate in Mesa.

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