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"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations." – President Barack Obama


Dear Conservation Friends,
Sonoran Desert by Scott Jones
This week started off with a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and the second inauguration of Barack O'Bama. It was refreshing to hear some discussion on climate disruption -- now we need some action. At the Arizona Capitol, the budget discussions began and a few bills began to move through the process. The Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee confirmed a new Game and Fish Commissioner and confirmed a developer to the Urban Land Planning Oversight Committee. There was action in the House to erect additional impediments to initiatives. The so-called disclosure bill passed out of committee along party lines and is now being heard in rules on Monday. See below for details.

We do not have any action items on the Committee agendas this week, but please consider taking action to keep Don Diamond from taking more of our public lands. He is trying to get a transmission line moved away from his development and on to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands; this, after he already ripped off the public in a land swap by which he acquired the lands in the first place.

As the BLM itself has indicated, this transmission line would have significant negative effects on the resources. In fact, the agency previously determined that transmission lines were inappropriate for this area.

Take Action!
Please urge the BLM to reject this proposal to benefit one developer at the expense of the public and the public's lands


For more information on bills we are tracking, you can view our Legislative Tracker.

If you no longer want to receive these updates, just zap me an email or unsubscribe by clicking on "Manage Preferences" at the bottom of the message.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the Legislature or other environmental issues and I welcome you to join me at the Capitol. Thank you for taking action and for caring about Arizona's environment.

Warm regards,
Sandy Bahr
Chapter Director
Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter
(602) 253-8633
http://arizona.sierraclub.org


Citizen Lobby Workshop 2012Pizza & Politics: Become a Citizen Lobbyist!

We still have room for a few more people at our Tucson and Prescott workshops. Thanks to all who turned out for the Flagstaff workshop and to the Arizona Ecumenical Council Earth Care Commission for co-sponsoring it. Please join us for one of these fun (yes, fun) and informative workshops and learn more about affecting environmental policies.

Tucson
Tuesday, January 29th, 6–8 p.m.
Historic Y (738 N. 5th Ave., Tucson)

Prescott
Saturday, March 9th, 10–11:30 a.m.
Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation
882 Sunset (two blocks behind True Value)

RSVP

Arizona needs more advocates who are willing to meet with legislators, city council people, county supervisors, and other officials who have enormous impact on our future and on what kind of legacy we leave for the next generation. These workshops run two hours and cover the basics of how the legislature operates and how you can get involved in helping make a difference there and beyond. Free pizza, too!

Be sure to RSVP so we have enough information packets and pizza. You can use the link above or contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.


Protecting Arizona's Environment -- It's worth it!Wordle Environmental Day
Environmental Day at the Capitol.

Please join us for this annual event to show our legislators how much the people of Arizona care about our environment. Let legislators know that environmental protection is critical to a strong economy. WE have nearly 100 people signed up already and may have to establish a waiting list, so sign up now!

Tuesday, February 12th
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
League of Cities and Towns, Rm 101
1821 W. Washington St., Phoenix 
Just west of the Capitol
(map)

RSVP

Meet with legislators as part of a group so they can hear first-hand how much Arizonans really do care about clean air, clean water, and having parks and wildlife now and in the future. 

You can stop by for a short period or stay for the day. Carpooling is available from some locations, and a bus will be coming from Tucson to Phoenix.   

Please plan to attend, and bring a friend!

We hope you will join us! For more information, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 orsandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.

 

 

Coming Up This Week at the Legislature
You can use the "Request to Speak" system to register your opposition or support for bills in Committee. If you would like to use the system and have not signed up, contact me and I will help you get an account set up.

Monday, January 28th


House Rules Committee at 1:00pm in House Hearing Room 4

  • HB2007 ballot measures; proposition 105 disclosure (Ugenti) requires that any campaign literature, publicity pamphlet, and the ballot contain the following language: "NOTICE:  PURSUANT TO PROPOSITION 105 (1998), THIS MEASURE CAN NEVER BE CHANGED IN THE FUTURE IF APPROVED ON THE BALLOT EXCEPT BY A THREE-FOURTHS VOTE OF THE LEGISLATURE AND THE CHANGE FURTHERS THE PURPOSE OF THE ORIGINAL BALLOT MEASURE, OR BY REFERRING THE CHANGE TO THE BALLOT." This would require a statement on campaign literature, the ballot, and in the legislative council analysis that is incorrect. It is not true that it can "never be changed." There are other inaccuracies in this brief statement too, but the bottom line is it is intended to confuse rather than inform. 

Senate Committee on Government & Environment at approximately 2:00 pm in Senate Hearing Room 3

  • Presentations by Pam Pickard and David Modeer from the Central Arizona Project and Molly Greene from Salt River Project. I am guessing the focus will be on why the Navajo Generating Station should be allowed to continue to pollute, obscure places such as Grand Canyon, and harm the health of the Navajo and Hopi people who suffer most from its pollution.

House Committee on Energy, Environment & Natural Resources at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 4

  • HB2087 mining; claim maintenance fee affidavit (Brophy McGee) makes some minor changes to the affidavit, but as it deals with mining, we will keep an eye on it for amendments.

Wednesday, January 30th

 Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Rural Affairs at 9:00am in Senate Hearing Room 109 
  • Presentation by Dr. George Brooks, Jr., Chair of the Environment Pillar, African American leadership & Legislative Council 
  • SB1143 golf course pesticide license; fee (Pierce, Griffin, Pancrazi, et al.) allows the fees for licensing at golf courses to be set by the agency, but also appears to exempt some golf course application of pesticides from state pesticide regulation requirements. It may also exempt some agricultural activities, at least the ones that are not covered by the Department of Agriculture. We are monitoring it.

House Committee on Public Safety, Military & Regulatory Affairs at 9:00am in House Hearing Room 3

  • HB2393 state agencies; licensure; time frames (Pierce J, Forese, Gray, et al.) addresses the licensing time frames aspect of rule making at state agencies and allows a person subject to a license to petition for a shorter time frame. The time frames encourage agencies to rush out permits and licenses, which can put at risk environmental protection, but this provision probably does not really make that much of a difference, in the big scheme of things.

Thursday, January 31st

 House Committee on Technology & Infrastructure at 9:00am in House Hearing Room 5
  •   Presentation by Kevin Beisty, AZ Department of Transportation  (He is also presenting to the Transportation Committee the same morning.)

House Committee on Judiciary at 10:00am in House Hearing Room 4

  • HB2305 initiatives; filings: circulators (Farnsworth) requires that petitions filed for an initiative be organized by county, circulator, and notary. It also allows for filing background check information on circulators and if that is done, it raises the bar slightly on challenging the circulator. For groups that collect a fair number of volunteer signatures, the latter part would be just ridiculous. The provision on organizing the petitions would be fine if it was not for the fact that it could be used to dismiss otherwise valid signatures. There may be constitutional issues with this measure.
  • HB2306 campaign finance; aggregate committee limits (Farnsworth) doubles the amount a candidate can receive overall from Political Action Committees per election cycle for both legislative and statewide offices.


To call your legislators, click on Member Roster and find their phone numbers. If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislators’ offices toll free at 1-800-352-8404. In the Phoenix area call (602) 926-3559 (Senate) or (602) 926-4221 (House) and ask to connect with your legislators.

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