"Environmental Issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens . . . ." – Principle 10, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Dear Conservation Friends,
Get out the tinfoil hats, the Arizona Legislature is at it again. On Monday, a Senate Committee passed the bill aimed at prohibiting programs or policies that promote sustainability and that might be tied, even indirectly, to the Rio Declaration -- the declaration includes principles to promote conservation and protect human rights. Senators took issue with light rail, bike paths, and countries that excel at soccer. To read about it in more detail, check out Laurie Robert's great column Protecting Arizona, one conspiracy at a time.
This week was the last week for committees to hear bills that originated in their house, meaning that House bills had to be heard in House committees and Senate bills in Senate committees. Bills that did not get a hearing and did not pass out of the main committee are dead -- at least until someone resurrects them through a strike everything amendment, also known as the zombie amendment as it frequently resurrects dead bills.
And now for some good news . . . .
Two bills advanced to help Arizona State Parks, one reinstates the Heritage Fund to fund parks, trails, historic preservation, and protection of natural areas, and another to provide for an optional fee when you register your car. The dollars from the fee would go to fund State Parks.
And the bad news . . . .
Early next week, probably on Monday, the Senate will be voting on several bad pieces of legislation. Please take action on the following bills,
Ask you Senator to vote no on SB1321 residential energy efficiency; building codes (Griffin, Burges, Farley, et al). While it was amended to make it slightly less horrible, it still limits energy efficient building codes at the local level and codifies a less efficient standard in state law. This is a terrible idea. The cities and counties are the only ones doing much on efficient building codes right now.
Please urge Senators to Oppose SB1321!
As noted above, the anti-UN, anti-sustainability bill, passed out of Committee this past week right along party lines. Thank you Senators Farley, Hobbs and Jackson for opposing it.
Tell Senators to Oppose SB1403 and to protect sustainability programs!
SCR1012 EPA Actions; Haze, which supports the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's weak regional haze plan and opposes the stronger Environmental Protection Agency plan, will likely be voted on Monday. Here is our statement in support of cleaning up dirty coal-fired power plants.
Unfortunately, the Legislature is going after both voting rights and the initiative and referendum process this session. SCR1019 initiative; referendum; signature allocation (Reagan) requires signatures for a ballot measure to be collected from at least five counties and says that a minimum of 40 percent must be collected from other than Maricopa and Pima counties. This would make it nearly impossible to put measures on the ballot.
Please ask your Senator to oppose SCR1019 and other bills to undermine constitutional rights.
There is also some bad news for Arizona State Parks, one of the people nominated for the State Parks Board, Mark Brnovich, is an individual that headed up the Commission on Privatization and Efficiency that, you guessed it, recommended privatizing State Parks. Stay tuned on this, but generally it is pretty difficult to stop a confirmation in our State Senate, unless the person is really qualified for the position. :)
For more information on some of the 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.
Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter
Coming Up This Week at the Legislature
Senate Committee on Government & Environment upon adjournment of the Floor (around 2:00 p.m.) in Senate Hearing Room 3
Tuesday, February 26th
Senate Committee on Elections at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 1
Senate Committee on Appropriations at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 109
House Committee on Agriculture & Water at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 5
Wednesday, February 27th
House Committee on Appropriations at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 1
Thursday, February 28th
|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.|