Still sticking by the prediction that this year's session of the Arizona legislature will be a short one, but I now expect them to pack a lot of punch line-worthy material into the session.
We've already had one sitting state senator, Don Shooter, baldly announce that he intends to keep taking
Another one is fast-tracking a bill to make discrimination that can be rationalized by citing a religious justification a protected civil right...for the bigots.
And that's just the beginning.
Some of the other "colorful" measures that fall into the "making comedy writers' lives easier" category (some are new, some are rehashes of schemes proposed in earlier sessions of the lege):
- HB2466, mandating that every session of the legislature adjourn by May 1st every year, regardless of whether they have actually completed their work (ya know, pass a budget).
- HB2433, making it a class 2 misdemeanor (up to four months in jail, $750 fine) if a delegate to a Constitutional convention even considers an "unapproved" amendment.
- HB2412, creating a "school safety designee program" - simply put, "guns on campus" by another name.
- HB2366, appropriating funds to pay current and former legislators (read: Russell Pearce) involved in lawsuits stemming from the infamous anti-immigrant measure known as SB1070.
- HB2344, creating a new way for candidates for US Senate to get their names on the general election ballot - have the legislature nominate them.
- HB2339, allowing firearms nearly *everywhere*.
- HB2284, allowing license "inspections" of abortion providers at any time for any reason, even if (especially if?) such inspections disrupt operations.
- HB2196, repealing 2013's HB2305 and its host of voter suppression provisions. Not because the Rs in the AZ lege have suddenly been struck by a fit of conscience. Nope, because HB2305 was successfully referred to the ballot by a petition drive and they figure that repealing it will invalidate the ballot referral. Once that happens, they will just pass the measure again.
- HB2192, Rep. Carl Seel's latest "Breathing While Brown" law, making it a Class 1 misdemeanor (first offense) or Class 6 felony (subsequent offense) for an undocumented immigrant to use any "public resource". And under Seel's definition, using a public resource specifically and literally "includes driving on a public road or highway, accepting any public benefit, attending a public school or using the services of any public entity in this state."
This particular proposal is the frontrunner in the "Most Likely To Earn AZ A Prime Spot On The Daily Show. Again." derby.
- HB2186, turning Arizona's college campuses into armed encampments (allowing school faculty members to carry concealed weapons).
- HB2030, mandating that applicants for and recipients of unemployment compensation pass a drug test as a condition for receiving benefits.
- SB1120, barring hospitals from requiring physicians to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients as a condition for granting staff privileges to those physicians.
- SB1096, a "gold and precious metals as money" bill.
The above bills were submitted by the end of the first week of the session of the lege; they still have 2 - 3 weeks (depending on the chamber) to submit more, and "strike-everything" amendments (aka "strikers") can be submitted at nearly any time.
How about we slap a fence around the state capitol and rename it "The Ev Mecham Memorial Insane Asylum"?