Sunday, March 08, 2015

Arizona legislature: the coming week

Note: because of time considerations, Thursday's agendas for House committees have not been covered.  This post will be updated on Monday or Tuesday evening.

Update: the post has been completed. 

Last week was shaping up to be a quiet week, and it was.

That is, until Wednesday, when news broke that the governor and leadership in the lege had brokered a deal on the state budget, putting forth a proposal that is even more draconian than the one that the governor proposed in January.

That new budget proposal was literally passed in the dark of night on Friday/by dawn's early light on Saturday.

Lesson (re-) learned: whenever the lege is in session, don't turn your back on them.


Having said that, passage of the budget marks the start of a time-honored tradition at the Capitol - Sine Die rumor season.

One source speculates that this session of the lege will finish up by the end of March.  If that happens, this will become one of the shortest legislative sessions ever.

The source's speculation was that they will try to finish up this week, but that there are too many outstanding bills for that to be feasible.

My speculation: there are too many bad bills to keeping moving as payoffs for budget votes for the session to end quickly.  I see the session lasting until the last week of March or the first week of April.

On the other hand, I also thought that last week was going to be a quiet week. :)

On to this week's committee schedules...


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, 9 a.m., SHR109.   On the agenda: a striker to HB2150, relating to "livestock; poultry; animal cruelty; violation".  This is a carbon copy of HB2429, which passed the House and was assigned to committee in the Senate, but looks to have died there for lack of consideration.  While HB2429 passed the House, it ran into some significant resistance because it waters down the state's animal cruelty laws.

State Debt and Budget Reform, Monday, 10 a.m., SHR3.  Presentations only at this point.

Water and Energy, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  Looks harmless so far.

Commerce and Workforce Development, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2213, hamstringing the business inspection/audit process under that guise of being "business friendly"; HB2578, relating to "real property; purchaser dwelling actions".

Transportation, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  Looks harmless so far, but a couple of the bills may be "sneak bad" and may merit a closer look.

Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  Looks harmless now, but as we saw last week, that can change in a heartbeat.

Public Safety, Military, and Technology, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2408, relating to DPS and towing contracts.  Not sure what is wrong with this one, but 19 House members voted against this one.

Finance, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR3.  Let's just make it official and rename this the "Senate Committee on Revenue Reduction".  On the agenda: HB2108, classifying "improvements and property used exclusively for convention activities as class nine property"; HB2153, expanding school vouchers tax credits for donations to school tuition organizations (STOs); HB2358, exempting crop dusters from sales tax liability.

Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  Looks harmless so far.

Government, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  A bad one.  On the agenda: HB2067, requiring the disclosure of any political committee that makes contributions to an Independent Expenditure committee that total to more than 25% of the IE's total contributions received; sounds good, until one realizes that this is so easy to get around as to be ineffectual posturing and nothing more (can you say "dark money" people?); HB2297, essentially barring state agencies from crafting or enforcing any rules that are more restrictive than current rules; HB2315, stating that if a local government's financial reporting website is deemed to be out of compliance with state statute, then the public officer responsible for that website can be removed from office (sounds like a personal vendetta bill, but I don't know who it is aimed at); HB2407, making the already incredibly difficult referendum and recall processes even more difficult for citizen groups; HB2558, regarding the sale of publicly-owned real property, tripling the value threshold below which a municipality doesn't have to hold a special election to gain voter approval of the sale; HB2646, barring state agencies from rulemaking without written approval of the governor.

Financial Institutions, Wednesday, 2 p.m, SHR109.  Looks harmless so far.

Judiciary, Thursday, 9 a.m., SHR109.  On the agenda:  a striker to HB2214, subject "majority vote calculation; municipal elections" (text unavailable at this time).

Education, Thursday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2261, requiring the state's universities to accept career and technical education credits as fine arts credits, for the purpose of admissions; HB2448, requiring public and charter schools to allow homeschooled students to enroll in specific courses if the students so desire.

On the House side of the Capitol - 

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4.  Long agenda of bills that originated in the Senate to be rubberstamped on the way to the House floor for final approval.

Ways and Means, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR3.  Looks harmless so far.

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

County and Municipal Affairs, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  Looks harmless so far.

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

Health, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  Looks harmless so far.

Federalism and States' Rights, Wednesday, 9 a.m., HHR5.  Short agenda, but it make up for its brevity with a surfeit of tin foil and bat guano.  On the agenda: SB1318, well, let me just copy and paste the list of provisions from the legislative summary of the bill:

1.      Prohibits any health care exchange operating in Arizona, rather than only Arizona-based exchanges, from providing coverage for abortions.

2.      Retracts the exception to the prohibition of health care exchanges providing coverage for abortion when coverage is offered as a separate optional rider where an additional premium is charged.

3.      Adds an exception to the prohibition of insurance coverage for abortions when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

4.      Requires an abortion clinic to submit to the Director all required documentation, including verification that the physicians who are required to be available have the required admitting privileges at a health care institution, on initial licensure and any subsequent renewal.

Also on the agenda:  SCM1014, a love letter to the EPA (and assorted others) urging the EPA to not lower the ozone concentration standard; SCR1003, expressing the lege's opposition to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Judiciary, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR3.  Looks harmless so far.

Commerce, Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: SB1098, Raising the size of a public service corporation (measured by revenue) that can ask for a rate increase without an administrative hearing.

Appropriations, Wednesday, 2 p.m. HHR1.  Looks harmless so far.

Government and Higher Education, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: SB1063, Sen. John Kavanagh's (R-of course) attack on "aggressive" panhandlers.

Military Affairs and Public Safety, Thursday, 9:30 a.m., HHR5.  On the agenda: SB1291, prescribing penalties for any political subdivision or agency that crafts and/or enacts a rule, ordinance, etc., that restricts firearms any more than state law does.  In addition, it prescribes punishment for the elected or appointed official who oversees said subdivision or agency.

The House has posted a COW (Committee of the Whole) calendar here and a Third Read calendar for Tuesday.  The Third Read calendar is chock full o'bad House bills.

The Senate has posted no floor calendars at this point.
The Capitol Events calendar is here.

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