Sunday, March 02, 2014

Arizona Legislature: The coming week

One battle is in the rear-view mirror (SB1062), but the R war on civil society (OK, the parts that the Rs don't like, which are mostly the most "civil" parts), continues unabated...

Going with a format change for this post, mostly to see if it makes the post a more interesting and easier read.  Instead of focusing on committee agendas, noting any bad or potentially bad bills on them, the post will focus on bad or potentially bad bills that are scheduled to move this week.

Generally speaking (meaning that there are occasional exceptions), bills that aren't supported by the committee chair or don't have enough R votes to pass will not appear on a committee agenda.  As such, any bill that appears on an agenda is presumed to be moving.

With measures that are scheduled for floor action, they also generally are have enough R votes to pass, otherwise the measures would not appear on a floor calendar.  However, there are also occasional exceptions to that, exceptions that appear marginally more often than with bills in committee.

The usual caveats still apply -

All committees meetings and agendas are subject to change without notice, and frequently do.  If you plan to travel to the Capitol to observe or weigh in on the consideration of a particular measure, check with the lege ahead of time to confirm that the meeting that you are interesting in is still on schedule and your item(s) of interest is still on the agenda for that meeting.

Floor calendars that have been posted have been included in this post.  However, those calendars are usually posted the day before they are considered.  Hence, only Monday's floor calendars are part of this post.

COW sessions, or "Committee of the Whole", is where actual floor debate takes place, where floor amendments to bills are added, and amendments added to bills in committee are approved.

Third Read sessions are where a bill receives a final vote.  No amendments are added here, and no official debate takes place, though there is a lot of "explaining" of votes during Third Read.

Measures that are going before a chamber's Rules committee are not up for debate on the merits of the measures.  The only subjects being considered is if the bill on the agenda is constitutional and in "proper form".  If a bill is on this agenda, chamber leadership has already decided that it is going to pass.  On occasion, a really bad bill is withdrawn from consideration, but I cannot remember that one was actually defeated in this committee.  Rules committee agendas serve best as an informal preview of what's coming up in floor action.

Meeting rooms designated "HHR" are in the House of Representatives building.

Meeting rooms designated "SHR" are in the Senate building.

All House committee agendas can be found here.

All Senate committee agendas can be found here.

Legislative floor calendars can be found here.

The lege's calendar of events for the week is here.

AZ Department of Administration meeting public notices are here

Some of the interesting bills to watch this week:

- SB1093, requiring federal agencies to register with a county's sheriff before operating in that county and to give all money that they collect (fines, fees, or penalties) to that sheriff (Senate Rules, Monday, 1 p.m.)

- SB1267, amended into an "ag-gag" bill (Senate Rules)

- SB1290, barring federal law enforcement personnel from making arrests in a county without the written permission of the county's sheriff, with certain limited exceptions (Senate Rules)

- SB1351, another Republican attack on the Rio Nuevo facilities district in Tucson (Senate Rules)

- SB1354 and SB1355, more Republican attacks on public employee unions, inhibiting the ability of unions to collect dues via payroll deduction (Senate Rules)

-  SB1366, amended to being a measure reducing the sorts of devices that are "firearms", subject to the few laws that we have regulating such (Senate Rules)

- SB1396, strengthening the centralized control of the state's school districts by the lege and the state department of education (Senate Rules)

- SB1479, stating that entering or remaining on any real property while in violation of any state or federal law is criminal trespass in the third degree.  A breathing-while-brown bill. (Senate Rules)

- SCR1003, a proposal to change the state's constitution to require the voters to reapprove any voter-approved measure that raises state revenue or mandates specific expenditures (Senate Rules)

- HB2012, Rep. John Kavanagh's proposal to reduce the ability of "pro se" litigants to conduct their cases in "non-criminal" court actions if they are found to have filed "harassing" motions or other things; his proposal would not affect litigants with the resources available to hire lawyers to do the harassing (Senate Judiciary, Monday, 2 p.m.)

- HB2103, Expanding eligibility for concealed weapons permits (House Rules, Monday, 1 p.m.)

- HB2219, tripling a corporate tax credit (House Rules)

- HB2276, reducing the tax paid on revenue from insurance premiums (House Rules)

- HB2485, mandating that state education department award a contract worth $36 million to a vendor that can provide education technology software that meets some very specific criteria.  *Very* specific (House Rules)

- HB2508, requiring that health care "navigators" and others associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to become licensed in Arizona (House Rules)

- HB2513, requiring AHCCCS to contract with an outside vendor to implement an audit of payments for patient services made by third-party insurers for services provided to AHCCCS enrollees (aka - enrollees that have additional insurance coverage under non-AHCCCS plans; due to the nature of the AHCCCS patient universe, I expect that number to be small.  The private vendor contract?  Not so much...) (House Rules)

- HB2535, Under federal law, the local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) must give written approval when certain firearms are transferred; this measure would impose a time limit on a CLEO who is asked for such approval (House Rules)

- HB2560, permitting insurance companies to evaluate (audit) their own compliance with applicable laws, rules, standards, etc., report on that audit to the appropriate regulatory agencies, and keep those reports secret (House Rules)

- HB2614, imposing some public notice requirements regarding the state budget that seem to be less about encouraging transparency than about incremental TABOR implementation through propaganda (House Rules)

- HB2640, requiring the state or any county or municipality that calls for an investigation of itself or one of its subdivisions to contract out that investigation to a third party selected by the legislature's Auditor General (House Rules)

- HB2699, basically withdrawing Arizona from compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act (House Rules)

- HCR2022, a proposal to amend the state's constitution to raise the tax exemption on personal property from $50K to $2.4 million (House Rules)

- HCR2037, a proposal to amend the state's constitution to bar use of funds in the state's Budget Stabilization Fund (aka - "rainy day fund") in any fiscal year where the state's budget is larger than the budget from the previous fiscal year (House Rules)

- SB1237, making all sort of changes to enhance school vouchers "Empowerment Scholarship Accounts" (House Education, Monday, 2 p.m.)

- HCR2018, proposing to change the state's constitution to require that any voter-approved measures that authorize expenditures are valid for only eight years and must be re-approved by the voters after eight years (House COW, Monday)

- HCR2035, proposing to add a balanced budget amendment to the state's constitution, which sounds OK (the state is already required to have a balanced budget) until you read the other clauses in the proposal (House COW)

- HB2203, messing with the membership of the boards of directors of the state's public employee retirement systems (House COW)

- HB2367, imposing work and other requirements on AHCCCS enrollees (House COW)

- SB1158,  reducing the ability of counties and cities to regulate the sale and use of certain consumer fireworks (Senate Third Read, Monday)

- SB1100, requiring that school districts lease or sell unused/underutilized buildings to charter schools or private schools (Senate COW, Monday)

- SB1102, messing with the state's School Facilities Board (Senate COW, Monday)

- SB1227, barring counties and municipalities from implementing "green" building codes (Senate COW, Monday)

In short, while none of the bills moving this week are individually as rancid as SB1062, as a group?

Far worse.


John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Regarding the comment about HB2221 that said, "..his proposal would not affect litigants with the resources available to hire lawyers to do the harassing," it was not necessary to include actions using paid attorneys in the restriction because their ability to file frivolous lawsuits and motions is already prohibited by their rules of conduct. In addition, because you have to pay an attorney, less people are willing to use them for frivolous suits.

I originally had paid attorneys included in an early draft but the state court stakeholders told me that that was redundant and unnecessary.

This law deals with some very persistent and annoying people who represent themselves and cost the innocent people they harass a lot of time and money. My bill codifies existing court rules on this issue so that all judges, especially JPs, know of this remedy. It passed 59-0 out of the House. This is not a ploy to deny the poor court redress.

State Rep. John Kavanagh (sponsor)