Tuesday, February 17, 2015

AZlege: Here come the strikers...

For many Arizonans, this week marks the start of Lent, a religious season where adherents give up something (often a bad habit or some luxury) to make their lives simpler.  The only thing that the AZ lege gives up is any pretense of subtlety...

After watching KAET's Horizon air its weekly legislative update where the Arizona Capitol Times' Luigi del Puerto observed that there haven't been any proposals that are in the vein of last year's SB1062 (anti-LGBT) or 2010's SB1070 (anti-immigrant), I checked out the lege's website to see if any had slipped in under the radar.

And found that a rash of strikers, some of which are ugly, had sprouted all over committee agendas since I last checked on Sunday.

Some examples -

 - The anti-immigrant striker to SB1222, barring prosecutors from entering into a plea deal with someone who has been deported while other charges are pending.  It also has language that states that the statute of limitations (time limits) on charges doesn't run while suspects are out of the country, but that language seems redundant - similar language is already part of existing statute.

- The anti-immigrant striker to SB1294, mandating that a person's name, date of birth, place of birth, and country of citizenship be recorded on every summons, arrest warrant, and uniform traffic complaint (traffic ticket) for that person.

(both are from Russell Pearce acolyte Sen. Steve Smith and will be heard in the Senate Public Safety, Military and Technology at 9 a.m., Wednesday, SHR1)

- The striker to HB2059, creating limits on what areas that money in the state's medical marijuana fund can be spent on (while most of the approved areas are marijuana-related, none are related to *medical* marijuana).  Not actually "ugly", per se, perhaps unlike...

- The striker to HB2056, barring municipalities and counties from enacting zoning ordinances that allow certain non-retail medical marijuana production facilities within approximately 1/2 a mile of an area zoned for residential use, a school, or a church.

 - Or the striker to HB2053, directing the Department of Economic Security to come up with a plan to kick "able-bodied" people off of public assistance (the bill uses the term "transition", not "kick", but...)

(these will be heard by the House Government and Higher Education Committee, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1)

This week is the last week where bills can be heard in committee in their originating chamber (which explains the long committee agendas this week), but it's only the beginning of striker season.  Between now and sine die (the final adjournment of the legislative session), literally dozens of otherwise harmless bills will be changed into nuggets of ugly.

Keep your eyes open folks, the ride toward Sine Die is going to get bumpy...

No comments: