Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wednesday at the Capitol: Silly Season arrives at the Arizona Legislature

Friday is the last day for bills at the Arizona Legislature to be heard in committee in their originating chamber.

Bills that haven't been approved in committee by Friday are essentially dead.  There are ways around this rule - bills can still be heard by the respective chambers' Appropriations committee, a bill that passed committee can be amended and changed into an entirely different bill (striker), or, depending on the nature of the bill, the language can be rolled into a budget reconciliation bill (BRB) and be enacted as part of the overall budget.

In other words, it's *possible* for a bill not heard in committee by the end of the week to keep moving (and inevitably, every session, some do), but for most bills, it's "do or die" time.

Which explains some of the items on committee agendas for Wednesday:

Senate Health and Human Services, 2 p.m., SHR1 - SB1324, restricting medication-induced abortions; SB1474, barring nearly all research on fetal tissue or embryos if the fetal tissue or embryos are from abortions; also barring all transfers, of any kind, of fetal tissue or embryos resulting from abortions...OK there are many clauses in this bill, all looking to be based the now-disproved videos that smeared Planned Parenthood (and resulted in criminal charges for the creator of the videos)

Senate Public Safety, Military, and Technology, 9 a.m., SHR1 - a striker to SB1520, barring municipalities from implementing photo radar unless it is specifically approved by voters

House Judiciary, 9:30 a.m., HHR3 - HB2300, barring the state or any of its political subdivisions from doing anything to aid in the enforcement of a federal law, policy, etc. pertaining to firearms

In other words, Wednesday will be a good day to visit the legislature...

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