Dear Conservation Friends,
"Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason." - Jerry Seinfeld
credit: Miguel de la Cueva
The Arizona Legislature has been in session 103 days and, still, there is no budget. To reward themselves for inaction, legislators took an extra long weekend and will not be back in session until Tuesday. The good news is that at least they will not be doing any harm during this time. Please take three actions this week on the bills noted below.
HB2551 NOW: off-highway vehicles; use; authority; enforcement (Gowan)says that law enforcement can ignore damage to wildlife habitat from off-road vehicles and do no enforcement of
off-road vehicle laws on federal public lands that have been closed to off-road vehicles. The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that unmanaged off-road vehicle use significantly harms wildlife habitat as well as cultural sites. This bill will go to conference committee this coming week. Please tell your legislators that you want law enforcement to protect lands and wildlife from irresponsible off-road
Please contact your legislators and ask them to vote no on HB2551.
HB2404 NOW: building codes; energy efficiency (Carter) was amended in the Senate Committee of the Whole on Thursday, but the improvements were negligible. 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 make a phone call to your senator as well as sending an email via the take action link below. To find your senator's phone number, go to Arizona Senators. If you are not sure who your senator is, just use the take action link below and it will give it to you automatically.
Contact your senator right away and ask him or her to vote NO on HB2404!
HB2485 health and safety audit privilege (Carter,
Stevens: Barton, et al.) was transmitted to Governor Brewer yesterday. It provides a "privilege" (aka secrecy) for violations of health and safety laws and harm that has resulted from them. The scofflaws that repeatedly violate laws will not have to deal
with public 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 regulators. To see why health and safety oversight is needed, you need look no further than the recent tragedy in Texas. Apparently, APS has a lot it wants to hide as it was primary driver of this legislation.
Please ask Governor Brewer to veto HB2485.
For more information on some of the bills we are tracking, look below or 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.
Thank you all! Your efforts make a difference!
Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter
Quick Bill Updates
SB1261 permanent early voting lists; amendments (Reagan, Driggs: Worsley) allows the county recorder to notice and remove people who are on the Permanent Early Voting List who did not vote early in the last two elections and if they do not respond in writing and ask to stay on the list. This along with other bills seems to be intended to deter higher voter turnout. OPPOSE. It awaits action in House Committee of the Whole. This may get added to HB2305 in Conference Committee.
SB1263 paid circulators; statewide measures; recall
(Reagan: Driggs) requires that all paid circulators be registered with
the Secretary of State for statewide measures and candidates -- not legislative candidates, however. This is part of a concerted effort to make it next to
impossible to get any measure on the ballot, especially if this bill
passed in conjunction with the other measures being considered. OPPOSE. It awaits action in House Committee of the Whole. This may get added to HB2305 in Conference Committee.
SB1264 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. It awaits action in House Committee of the Whole.
This may get added to HB2305 in Conference Committee.
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. OPPOSE. It awaits a Third Read in the House.
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 May 1. This gives people two fewer months to collect signatures and the Legislature more time to mess with citizen initiatives. OPPOSE. It awaits action in the House caucuses.
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. OPPOSE. It passed out of the Senate 17-11-2 and the House 38-22 and has been transmitted back to the Senate.
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. OPPOSE. It passed out of the Senate 17-13 and the House 38-20-2 and has been transmitted back to the Senate.
SCR1016 rejection of unconstitutional federal actions (Crandell, Burges: Melvin, et al.) refers to the ballot a constitutional amendment that allows Arizona to determine if a federal action violates the U.S Constitution and to then reject it. OPPOSE. It awaits review in the House caucuses.
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. It awaits action in the House Rules Committee.
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. It passed out of the Senate 16-12-2 and the House 34-24-2 and was transmitted to the Secretary of State.
HB2007 ballot measures; proposition 105 disclosure (Ugenti) requires that any campaign literature, publicity pamphlet, and the ballot include language that says ". . .THIS MEASURE MAY NOT 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."(With Rules Amendment) There are still inaccuracies in this brief statement, even with the Rules amendment, including that the measure can be changed by referring the change to the ballot. Referring a measure to the ballot changes nothing. The measure must be APPROVED BY THE VOTERS. This measure will not better inform voters, but is clearly intended to confuse, erect additional impediments, and to discourage citizen initiatives. OPPOSE. It awaits action in the Senate Committee of the Whole. This may get added to HB2305 in Conference Committee.
HB2334 pool pump energy standards; repeal (Montenegro)
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. OPPOSE. It was voted out of the House Rules Committee and awaits action by the House Committee of the Whole. If it passes out of the House, it will require a special process in the Senate as it is no longer hearing
bills in committees.
HB2305 initiatives; filings: circulators (Farnsworth) requires that petitions filed for an initiative be organized by county, circulator, and notary. While it may not sound that harmful on the face of it, this measure would provide just another reason for disqualifying ballot measures on a technicality and again make it more difficult for any grassroots efforts. OPPOSE. It is still scheduled to go to a conference committee. It looks like it will become a Christmas tree bill with all kinds of things added.
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. SUPPORT. It awaits action in the Senate Committee of the Whole.