Sunday, March 15, 2015

Arizona legislature: the coming week (part 1)

It's shaping up to be a crazy week at the Capitol.

I'm not talking about the content of some of the bills that will be under consideration (though there will be plenty of hate, tin foil, and bat guano to go around on that front).

Nope, it is the last week that bills can be considered in any committee other than Appropriations, which always leads to a chaotic week at the Capitol.

Add in the fact that they are going for an early adjournment of the session and running bills through the Appropriations committees won't be as viable an option as in other years, and pretty much every committee agenda will be full and/or subject to amendment without notice.

In other words, at the Capitol this week, the one constant will be change.

In light of that fact, and the fact that many of the agendas are incredibly long this week, this post will be done in two parts.

The first part will cover the committee agendas for Monday and Tuesday; the second part will cover agendas for Wednesday and Thursday.


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.

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

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

Some agendas are summarized as "looks harmless", but if they cover an area of interest to you, examine the agenda and the bills on it.  If I missed something significant, please leave a comment letting me know.

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

On the Senate side of the Capitol -

Natural Resources, Monday, 10 a.m., SHR109.  Looks harmless so far. 

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Caucus Room 1.  Long agenda (90+ items) to be rubberstamped on their way to floor consideration. 

Water and Energy, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  Two items on the agenda:  The appointment of David Tenney as director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office and HB2316.  The Tenney nomination should go through without a hiccup - the vice-chair of the committee is Sen. Sylvia *Tenney* Allen (yes, she's David Tenney's sister).  HB2316 makes changes to the way that the Small Water Systems Fund can be used.

Commerce and Workforce Development, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: a striker to HB2094, creating a veterans' preference in employment situations; a striker to HB2360, creating a (worker-unfriendly)  process for filing a complaint about the processing of a workers' compensation claim (check out the time limit and the maximum compensation is such a complaint is upheld).

Federalism, Mandates, and Fiscal Responsibility, Tuesday, 9 a.m., SHR3. Short agenda, but all neo-secessionist nuggets of ugly.  On that agenda: HB2175, claiming state dominion over rights-of-way across otherwise federally-controlled public lands (my attempt at a summary, there are a *lot* of clauses to this one.  Nuances may be missed here); HB2358, establishing a committee to "study" the best way to transfer federal lands in Arizona to state control; HB2368, barring any political subdivision (county, city, etc.) from "using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate" with a presidential executive order or a Department of Justice directive unless the order or directive has been specifically approved by Congress; HB2643, prohibiting the state or its political subdivisions from cooperating with or doing anything to support the Affordable Care Act (aka - Obamacare).

Rural Affairs and Environment, Tuesday, 9 a.m., SHR109.  Another short agenda.  Not all of the items are bad, but the neo-secessionists will be out in force for this one, too.  On the agenda: HB2176, requiring the state land commissioner and state attorney generally to take steps needed for the state to take over "constitutionally nonenumerated" federal lands in the state; HB2318, entering into a compact with certain other states for the purpose taking over federal lands in those states; HCM2005, a love letter to Congress and the Department of Interior asking that they transfer control of all federal lands in Arizona to state government of Arizona.

Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  On the agenda: HB2568, reducing the tax paid by insurers on the premiums that they receive.

On the House side of the Capitol - 

Elections, Monday, 10 a.m., HHR4. On the agenda: SB1184, micromanaging the ballot language of municipal bond, sales tax, and property tax elections; SCR1001, repealing Clean Elections.

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4.  Long agenda of items to be rubberstamped on their way to floor consideration.

Ways and Means, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3.  On the agenda: SB1120, exempting certain works of fine art from sales tax; SB1133, creating a process whereby a customer can claim a refund of paid transaction privilege tax (aka - sales tax); a striker to SB1088, listed subject as "empowerment scholarship accounts; eligibility" (text not available as of this writing).  This one has popped up before as its own bill; it's all about expanding school vouchers "empowerment scholarships".

Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  Looks harmless so far.

Children and Family Affairs, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR5.  Looks harmless so far.

Transportation and Infrastructure, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  Looks harmless so far. 

Rural and Economic Development, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR5.  Looks harmless so far.

Health, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  On the agenda: a striker to SB1039, broadening the definition of "health care sharing ministry" by removing "faith based" and adding "common set of ethical or religious beliefs".  Under the proposed language, a street gang or the KKK could offer health care coverage to their members, so long as they file the correct paperwork.

Banking and Financial Services, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR3.  Looks harmless so far.

Wednesday preview: 

Senate Public Safety, Military, and Technology will be considering two gun bills at 9 a.m. in SHR1.  The are a "guns in public places" bill and a bill regarding entering into an interstate compact relating to firearms sales.

The House has posted a COW (Committee of the Whole) calendar here, here, and here and a Third Read calendar for Monday.
The Senate has posted no floor calendars at this point.
The Capitol Events calendar is here.

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