Dear Conservation Friends,
"Tis gold that buys admittance . . . what can it not do and undo." - William Shakespeare
The Arizona Legislature has considered a lot of wacky bills over the years, but it used to be that most of them did not actually pass. That has changed in recent years and the black helicopter caucus has gotten larger and larger. This week, the House moved along a bill for Arizona to have our own gold and silver currency to pay bills. As if that bill was not crazy enough, they amended another off-the-mark bill, HB2573, by adding the anti-UN, anti-sustainability, anti-bike path, and generally anti-anything that might leave something more than a mess for future generations bill.
There was no public notice, no hearing on this issue in the House, and no opportunity for the public to comment or to ask their representatives to vote against it. After they added the amendment, they voted it out right away, primarily along party lines 34-24-2. Apparently, the "leadership" did not want to give the legislators too much time to think about it. According to those promoting the bill, people come to Arizona to escape the UN, so look for them to arrive in droves.
HB2573 prohibited governmental compliance; 2012 NDAA (Seel, Burges, Barton, et al.) includes provisions that prohibit any
entity from recognizing the UN or any of its declarations and the state
and all of its political subdivisions "are prohibited from directly and
knowingly, for the express purpose of adopting or implementing the
United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the
Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development."
Please take a moment to thank those who voted NO on HB2573.
The bill with the strike everything amendment on off-highway
vehicle; closures, HB2551, still awaits action on the Senate Floor. The striker removes all reference to enforcement of
federal laws regarding the use of motorized vehicles on federal public lands. This would mean that Game and Fish law enforcement officers would ignore irresponsible off-road vehicle activities that damage resources and harm wildlife.
credit:: Gary Beverly
Please contact your senator and ask him or her to vote no on HB2551.
HB2334 pool pump energy standards; repeal (Montenegro) did not advance further this week, but it still could go through Rules early next week. This bill repeals the more efficient pool pump
standards that significantly reduce energy use and save consumers dollars. Inefficient pool pumps are one of the biggest users of electricity.
Send a message to your representatives to Vote No on HB2334!
HB2404 S/E building codes; energy efficiency (Carter) did not reappear on a calendar this week, which means they are probably trying to round up votes for it. The Homebuilders said they are open to an amendment that would retain local control, but it is pretty clear they are not. This bill prohibits local government from adopting more energy efficient building codes, which is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy use and save ratepayers money. Please continue to contact your senator.
Please ask Senators to vote NO on HB2404 and help consumers save energy and money!
HB2485 health and safety audit privilege (Carter, Stevens: Barton, et al.) has still not appeared on a Committee of the Whole calendar, but the lobbyists from Arizona Public Service (APS) are scrambling around trying to appease a couple legislators, so they can get it out. HB2485 provides a shield of secrecy to bad actors for violations of public health and safety laws and could keep repeat offenders from having to deal with any public scrutiny or fallout from their actions. In addition to all the other problems with this type of secrecy, it also encourages cozy relationships between businesses and the agencies charged with protecting public health and puts at risk public health and safety.
Please ask Senators to protect public health and safety and vote NO on HB2485.
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
Quick Bill Updates
SCR1006 initiative petitions; filing date (Reagan) refers to the ballot a measure to move the filing date for petition signatures back from four months before the election to May1. This gives people two fewer months to collect signatures and the Legislature more time to mess with citizen initiatives. It has been rejected by the voters twice before. It passed out of the Senate 18-12 and the House Judiciary Committee 7-1. It awaits action by the House Rules Committee.
SCR1012 EPA Actions; Haze (Griffin, Burges, Murphy, et al.) supports the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's weak regional haze plan and litigation and opposes the stronger Environmental Protection Agency plan. It passed out of the Senate 17-11-2 and the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee 5-3. It awaits final Floor action in the House.
SCR1013 endangered species act (Griffin, Burges, Shooter, et al.) says the Legislature supports efforts in Congress to "update" the Endangered Species Act to relieve "Arizona from burdensome regulatory measures that have been harmful to this State . . . ." This is a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on the Endangered Species Act. It passed out of the Senate 17-13. It passed out of House Agriculture and Water 8-0. It awaits final Floor action in the House.
SB1288 Arizona water protection fund; projects (Griffin, Burges, Gowan, et al.) prohibits federal agencies from receiving funding through the Arizona Water Protection Fund, which would limit projects on federal public lands and tribal lands. It also modified the board that allocates these dollars and gives total control to agricultural interests. It passed out of the Senate 17-11-2. It passed out of the House Agriculture and Water Committee 7-1. It is on the House Committee of the Whole calendar for Monday.
SB1290 office of pest management (Griffin, McGuire, Pancrazi, et al.) makes numerous changes to the statutes dealing with structural pest control. It prohibits cities, towns, and counties from having any requirements that are more stringent than state law. It keeps the outdated definition of Integrated Pest Management and it also exempts a number of facilities from regulation under this section -- golf courses are regulated like agriculture. Overall, it weakens protections in the program. It passed in the Senate 12-7-2. It passed out of the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee 6-0-2. It awaits final Floor action in the House.
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. It passed out of the Senate 17-11-2. It passed out of the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee 6-2. It awaits final Floor action in the House.
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, but this is a good start. It passed out of the House 50-8-2. It passed out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee 6-0-1 and Appropriations Committee 9-0. It is stuck in the Senate Rules Committee.
Next week, look for an update on the Elections and Anti-Ballot Measure bills.
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.
They will be taking action on the Floor of each house, but there may also be a special hearing on HB2573, so stay tuned on that.