Sunday, March 11, 2012

The coming week...

As usual, all agendas are subject to change without notice

This is the last week that bills can be heard in committee at the AZ lege, though exceptions can (and probably will) be made.  As a result, most committee agendas are incredibly long, and there are a few strike-everything amendments of note as legislators try to salvage their pet bills (or to be more blunt, the pet bills of their favored lobbyists).

The highlight (so to speak) of the week isn't a matter going before a standing committee, it's Tuesday's meeting of the House Ethics Committee where they will consider the ethics complaint filed against Rep. Daniel Patterson.  Patterson is facing assault charges related to a domestic violence incident with his now ex-girlfriend.

In regular committee work...

...on the House side of the Capitol -

- Ways and Means is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in HHR1.  On the agenda: many tax-related proposals, included SB1257, creating a tax credit for donations to charter schools; also, a striker to SB1195 that would remove the requirement in AZ law that "non-profit" organizations that sell donated used cars here have been in operation in AZ for at least five years.  The striker is from Rep. Jack Harper (R-Fly by Night).  Of course.

- Energy and Natural Resources is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in HHR4.

- Education is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in HHR3.  On the agenda:  SB1061, Sen. Rich Crandall's scheme to end the school lunch program for poor students in Arizona.  Based on the already revised agenda, there was a striker proposed for this bill, and while the striker has been withdrawn from consideration, Crandall's measure has not.

- Banking and Insurance is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in HHR5.  The agenda is short (for now), but it includes a striker to SB1036.  I'm not quite sure what the real effect of this would be, but it has something to do with eye medical care insurance coverage.  Given that this is the Arizona legislature, it's probably bad for Arizonans and good for insurance companies.

- Government is meeting Tuesday at 2 p.m in HHR4.  On the agenda:  SB1433, a bill aimed at disbanding the police department in Hildale and Colorado City, which is less a police department and more a private militia for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).  FLDS may lay claim to being a "fundamentalist" sect of the Mormon Church but it's more like a personal cult serving Warren Jeffs.

Note:  That bill may be held until a special meeting of the Government committee on Thursday at 8 a.m in HHR4.

- Environment is meeting Tuesday at 2 p.m. in HHR5.

- Military Affairs and Public Safety is meeting Wednesday at 8 a.m. in HHR3.  One of the long agendas (which is, perhaps, the reason for the early start).  Includes: SB1083, establishing and funding the Arizona Special Missions Unit, an anti-immigrant vigilante force under the direct control of the governor.  No word on what shade of brown the shirts of their uniforms will be.  The agenda also includes an indicator of the real priorites of the Republicans in the lege - a striker to SB1302 that would require a county to protect private property that the property owner states is subject to harm due to wildfire-related soil erosion.

- Health and Human Services is meeting Wednesday at  9 a.m. in HHR4.

- Commerce is meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m. in HHR5.

- Higher Education, Innovation and Reform is meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m in HHR1.

- Appropriations is meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m. in HHR1.  On the agenda:  SB1104, appropriating funding for a commission that is designated to oversee the building of a border fence; and SB1275, creating another artificially low limitation on state spending and imposing specific requirements for implementing any spending that exceeds that limit.

- Transportation is meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. in HHR3.

- Technology and Infrastructure is meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. in HHR1.

- Judiciary is meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. in HHR4.  Short agenda, all bad: a striker to SB1087, turning it into a guns on campus bill; SB1311, expanding the jurisdiction of justice courts in civil matters (from Sen. Frank Antenori.  Somebody close to him went forum shopping and found that he couldn't file before the friendliest judge because that judge was a JP and the matter had a value greater than a justice court can hear; and SB1359, a "tort reform" bill masquerading as an anti-choice bill.  Has constitutional issues.

- Agriculture and Water is meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. in HHR5.  On the agenda:  a striker to SB1118 with the subject of "forest, historical and preservation funds".  No text available as yet.

- Ways and Means is holding a special meeting on Thursday at 2 p.m. in HHR1.  On the agenda:  SB1301, establishing yet another tax credit for big business; SB1337, a move by Maricopa County Republicans to mess with Pima County's Rio Nuevo facilities district.  Again.

...On the Senate side of the Capitol -

- Natural Resources and Transportation is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in SHR109.

- Judiciary is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in SHR1.  The agenda is long, but makes up for that by being utterly horrible: HB2457, allowing hunters to carry any variety of "legal" weapon, so long as only weapons that are authorized for use while hunting are used to take game (wink, wink); a striker to HB2461, a very broadly written measure regarding online impersonation (from Sen. Ron "The South Will Rise Again!" Gould); HB2457, allowing the defendant in a wrongful death, personal injury, or destruction of private property lawsuit to introduce evidence that a plaintiff will receive other benefits related to the death/injury/damage in order to reduce the defendant's financial liability; a striker to HB2557, relating to "health; disability benefits; subgragation" (no text available as yet); HB2625, allowing employers affiliated with religious organizations to refuse to cover contraceptives in the health insurance they provide to employees; HB2719, barring gun-free zones around schools; a striker to HB2775, repealing energy efficiency standards for new pool pumps.

- Education is meeting Monday at 2 p.m. in SHR3.  Long agenda, the worst item being HB2770, barring institutions of higher education from basing certain adminstratives decisions regarding a faculty member (like hiring, firing, tenure) on the faculty member's religious beliefs.  Not bad in concept, but this measure is so broadly written that it protects poor and unqualified instructors, who can just cite "religious belief" to protect themselves and to force schools to hire them and give them tenure.

- Veterans, Military, and Government Affairs is meeting Tuesday at 2 p.m. in SHR3.

- Banking and Insurance is meeting Tuesday at 2 p.m. in SHR3.  The agenda contains HB2664, which would change law to presume that a bill showing a credit card debt proves the existence of a debt, and put the burden on the alleged debtor to prove otherwise.  Such a bad bill that even many Rs are against it, but Rep. Jeff Dial (R-LD20) is fronting this one for the debt collectors lobby.

- Appropriations is meeting Tuesday at 2 p.m. in SHR109.  Long and ugly agenda.  The one new measure is a striker to HB2071 making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to not cooperate/engage in passive resistance when a law enforcement officer is attempting to effect an arrest.  From Sen Don "Tequila" Shooter.  While it certainly affects all protesters, my guess is that this one is targeted specifically at Occupy protesters in particular.

- Government Reform is meeting Wednesday at 8 a.m. in SHR1.  The agenda includes a striker to HB2503, subject "product liability" (no text available yet); HB2789, requiring that all rules passed by the Arizona Corporation Commission be approved by the lege before being implemented (some "minor" constitutional issues with this one); HB2807, making the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission subject to the state's Open Meeting Law (yes, the Rs are still pissed that the AIRC was actually independent this time around).  

- Commerce and Energy is meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m. in SHR109.  Includes a striker to HB2601, subject "filing; wage claims".  No text available as yet, but I think this will become a measure to force applicants for unemployment insurance to submit to drug testing.

- Water, Land Use, and Rural Development is meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m. in SHR3.

- Public Safety and Human Services is meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m. in SHR3.

- Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform is meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m. in SHR1.  The agenda contains HB2800, barring any kind of public family planning funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

- Finance is meeting Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in SHR1.  Long agenda, and it's getting late; I'll look at it closer Tuesday evening.

- Border Security, Federalism, and States' Sovereignty is meeting Thursday at 9 a.m.  Another in a long line of Sylvia Allen's dog-whistle agendas.  Also will examine it more closely on Tuesday.

All legislative bill proposals can be found here.

All Senate committee agendas can be found here; House agendas can be found here.

Floor calendars can be found here.

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