"The first lesson is this: Take it from me -- every vote counts." - Al Gore
Dear Conservation Friends,
Apparently, the Arizona Legislature thinks too many people voted in the last election, so it is busy passing legislation to impede voting, especially early voting. Helping out, if you are part of an organization or any political committee, by delivering an individual's early ballot, will get you a Class 6 felony, meaning a minimum of one year in jail. And as if suppressing voter turnout is not enough, they are also continuing their work to make it impossible for anyone other than the wealthiest to initiate laws through a ballot measure.
Some of our cities and towns are trying to implement programs to
conserve energy and save us all money, so what does the Arizona
Legislature decide to do? Prohibit them from doing so by limiting their
ability to adopt strong energy efficient building codes. SB1321 residential energy efficiency; building codes (Griffin,
Burges, Farley, et al) is on the House Energy, Environment, and Natural
Resources Committee agenda for Monday. Please take action immediately
and ask the committee members to vote no on SB1321.
Tell members of the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee to help us all save energy and money and to oppose SB1321!
Note: If you have an account, please also sign in on the Request to Speak system for this bill.
HB2485 health and safety audit privilege (Carter,
Stevens: Barton, et al.) will be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Wednesday. Please contact senators on that committee and ask them to vote no on this bill to provide a shield of secrecy to bad actors for violations of public health and safety laws. The bill allows companies to keep health and safety violations secret in an audit and prohibits use of the audit to impose fines, penalties, or to take other legal action. These types of bills encourage cozy relationships between businesses and agencies charged with protecting public health and put at risk public health and safety. We will be working to defeat it in the Senate.
Please ask Senators on the Senate Public Safety Committee to protect public health and safety and vote NO on HB2485.
Note: If you have an account, please also sign in on the Request to Speak system for this bill.
Senator Burges' wacky anti-U.N., anti-sustainability, anti-energy conservation bill, and anti-bike path bill appeared on two Committee of the Whole calendars, but was retained both times. It could again be on Monday's calendar, so keep up the calls and emails. SB1403 United National Rio Declaration; prohibition
(Burges, Crandell, Griffin, et al.) says that no government
entity in Arizona can adopt or implement any of the tenets or principles
relating to the U.N. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the
Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development. It could actually hinder
efforts to improve energy efficiency, water conservation, and other important
measures. Senator Burges says she will amend the bill, but you cannot amend crazy.
Ask Senators to Oppose SB1403!
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 come join me at the Capitol and thank you for taking action and for caring about Arizona's environment.
Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter
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, March 18th
Senate Committee on Government & Environment Upon Adjournment of the Floor in Senate Hearing Room 3
- HB2118 flood protection districts; property exclusion (Pratt) repeals the provisions in law that allow a flood control district to exclude certain properties. MONITOR.
- HB2233 special audit; voter protected measures (Stevens, Smith, Thorpe) requires a special audit of all voter-protected measures. Apparently they think people will provide less support for these measures, but the bottom line is people support funding schools, health care, and conservation. MONITOR.
- HB2322 rule making; restrictions (Farnsworth) restricts agencies from rulemaking unless it purely ministerial and that is consistent with the statutory delegation. I am not sure what the overall implications of this are, but I am guessing it is providing one more way for industry to challenge rule making. OPPOSE.
House Committee on Energy, Environment & Natural Resources at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 4.
- SB1321 residential energy efficiency; building codes (Griffin, Burges, Farley, et al) 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. OPPOSE.
SB1469 applying aquatic poisons (Griffin) requires Arizona Game and Fish to jump through some hoops to do native fish recovery, which includes eliminating non-native fishes with the use of rotenone and antimycin A. This bill is not intended to protect public health. If it was, it would apply to pesticides and herbicides that have known public health impacts. Instead, it is intended to stop or significantly hinder native fish recovery. OPPOSE.
- SCM1001 NOW: clean air act (Griffin) asks the Congress to give the states, not the Environmental Protection Agency, authority under the Clean Air Act. The reason we have a Clean Air Act is that individual states were not taking action and the pollution from one affects another. This is another bad message. OPPOSE.
Senate Committee on Judiciary Upon Adjournment of the Floor in Senate Hearing Room 1
- HB2387 recovery of attorney fees (Pierce J) will have a strike everything amendment on amendments: permanent early voting lists which makes it easier to remove people from the Permanent Early Voting List. If they do not vote early in the Primary and General Election that year, then they must respond in writing that they wish to stay on the list. OPPOSE.
- HB2292 photo radar citations; service times (Smith: Lesko, Shope) will have a strike-everything amendment on zoning prohibitions; planned communities, which prohibits cities from requiring a planned community as part of a subdivision. This is similar to SB1365. We have some concerns about this bill, but also about Homeowners Associations when they block energy efficiency and solar installations. Still, this seems like it would give developers even more power in the zoning process. OPPOSE.
Tuesday, March 19th
Senate Committee on Elections at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 1
- 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
- HCR2026 clean elections; education funding (Boyer, Mesnard, Petersen, et al.) refers to the ballot a measure that would swipe clean elections dollars and divert them to education. It is a cynical attempt to totally eliminate the clean elections system. OPPOSE.
House Committee on Agriculture & Water at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 5
Presentation on Climate Change by Jamie Lynn Butler (I am guessing this will not be about how Arizona can do more to address climate change.)
Wednesday, March 20th
Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Rural Affairs at 9:00am in Senate Hearing Room 109
House Committee on Commerce at 10:00am in House hearing Room 5
- Nomination for Arizona Game and Fish Commission Appointment Recommendation Board - Sue Chilton. She currently serves on this board which has helped to destroy the Game and Fish Commission and give us an agency that is spiraling downward when it comes to wildlife. We opposed the bill that created this recommendation board as we feared it would further politicize the Game and Fish Commission. It has. OPPOSE.
- HB2181 Now: state parks department; continuation (Fann) continues the State Parks Department for another 10 years. This is a standard continuation bill. SUPPORT.
- HB2621 fund; state parks; roads; fee (Escamilla, Cardenas, Contreras, et al.) establishes an optional fee when you register your vehicle. The fee would help fund the state parks system, although would not provide a sustainable fund for parks. We need a dedicated funding source to really help our park system. SUPPORT.
Senate Committee on Public Safety at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 109
Thursday, March 21st
- HB2485 health and safety audit privilege (Carter,
Stevens: Barton, et al.) allows companies to
keep health and safety violations secret in an audit and prohibits use of
the audit to impose fines, penalties, or to take other legal action.
These types of bills encourage cozy relationships between businesses and
agencies charged with protecting public health and put at risk public
health and safety. OPPOSE.
House Committee on Judiciary at 9:00am in House Hearing Room 4
Senate Committee on Government and Environment at Upon Adjournment of Floor in Senate Hearing Room 3
initiative, referendum and recall (Reagan) erects additional impediments
to the initiative and referendum process by providing more reasons and more
opportunities for signatures to be thrown out for merely technical reasons. For
example, it requires that every blank on a petition sheet have a line through
it or be marked NA. The courts have
generally deferred to the people relative to getting a measure on the ballot.
This seeks to turn that around. OPPOSE.
- 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 25 percent must be collected from other than Maricopa and Pima counties. This would make it nearly impossible to put measures on the ballot. OPPOSE.
- HB2296 underground storage tank program (Pratt)
continues the tax on gasoline and the fund for cleaning up underground
storage tanks. Private insurance should be picking up the tab for leaky
tanks at this point, but apparently, there are still a number of orphan
tanks sites that need to be addressed and insurance companies are still
not ponying up the way they should. We may support this, but are
currently evaluating it. NO POSITION.