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  "The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone."
~James Madison

January 24, 2014

Dear Conservation Friends,

petition boxes by Sandy Bahr
 HB2305 Petitions    credit:  Sandy Bahr
We took a peek at the Governor's proposed budget and, as anticipated, there is not a whole lot in it for environmental protection. It continues the trend of inadequately funding key resource protection activities. She does not propose reinstating the State Parks Heritage Fund. There is a bill in the mix to do that, but without it being in either the Governor's or the Legislature's budget, it is unlikely to advance.

There was a lot of action this week related to elections, including the passage of HB2014 in committee by a 3-2 vote. This week, please contact your representatives and ask them to vote no when this bill gets to the floor.

Take Action!
Ask representatives to vote no on HB2014!

HB2014 ballot measures; proposition 105 disclosure
(Ugenti) requires that any campaign literature, publicity pamphlet, and the ballot contain language that says the measure can "never be changed in the future" except via a three-fourths vote of the legislature that furthers the purpose or by referral to the ballot. There are several inaccuracies in this brief statement, including that the measure can be changed by referring the change to the ballot. Referring a measure to the ballot changes nothing. The change must be APPROVED BY THE VOTERS. Using the word "never" is also misleading as a measure can clearly be changed under the conditions mentioned. HB2014 will not better inform voters, but is clearly intended to confuse, erect additional impediments, and to discourage citizen initiatives.

Take Action!
Also, contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote no on HB2196

HB2196 elections laws amendments: repeal
(E. Farnsworth) repeals HB2305, a measure that was passed in the waning hours of the 2013 legislative session. HB2305 erects additional impediments to citizen initiatives and to early voting, among other things. To stop the measure, more than 146,000 Arizonans from around the state signed petitions, a referendum, and stopped its enactment. The law is on hold until we vote on it this fall. Now legislators are proposing HB2196, which would repeal and remove from the ballot HB2305, but unfortunately would also allow the legislature to reenact all or part of the original measure. This repeal is an end-around the voters and a cynical move by some legislators. Any repeal that is coupled with continuing to push for the provisions in the referendum would be a huge slap in the face to the voters and to our democratic process.

 Conserve Arizona – Water, Wildlife, and Wildlands
Mark your calendar for Environmental Day at the Capitol

Arizona State Capitol (Photo by Sandy Bahr)
  credit: Sandy Bahr

On February 18, 2014, environmental advocates from around the state, new and experienced, will be gathering at the Arizona State Capitol to meet with state legislators to express support for rivers and streams, clean air, land conservation, and more. Come be part of one of our teams! 

Environmental Day at the Capitol
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Arizona State Capitol
Old Senate Chambers, 3rd Floor
1700 W. Washington, Phoenix

Everyone will be paired with an experienced leader and will be meeting with his or her own legislators, whenever possible. You can come for an hour or two or stay all day. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and the issues and to make a difference. Our featured speaker is Mayor Doug Von Gausig from Clarkdale who will be discussing "Why do I care about the Verde River?"

To R.S.V.P., just click on RSVP Environmental Day and fill in your information.

If you have questions or would like to get more involved with planning, contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or

To find our more about the bills we are tracking, click on Legislative Tracker. Below are the committee agendas for this week.

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.

Remember, if you want to use the "Request to Speak" system this session to sign in on bills, you will need to set up a new account. Please contact me if you are interested in doing that. If you do so, you can register your support or opposition to a bill from your home computer. You need not actually speak on the bill.

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


Coming Up This Week at the Legislature 

Monday, January 27th

Senate Committee on Government and Environment at 2:00 P.M. in Senate Hearing Room 3

  • Presentation by Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • SB1161 municipal policies; authority   (Griffin, D. Farnsworth, Murphy, et al.) authorizes municipalities to establish "streamlined" regulations, meaning weak or nonexistent regulation. It further states that a city or town can only adopt the least restrictive mode of regulation. This is a terrible bill that, if adopted, would undermine the kinds of protections we expect from our local our government. OPPOSE.
  • SCM1001 Yuma desalting plant (Griffin, Gowan, Stevens, et al.) is a memorial to Congress and the President asking that the US Department of Interior take all necessary steps to operate the Yuma Desalting Plant. Seriously? This plant is a dinosaur and extremely expensive to operate. It is always interesting to see so-called fiscal conservatives push for spending enormous amounts of taxpayer money on something this inefficient. OPPOSE.

House Committee on Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources at 2:00 P.M. in House Hearing Room 4

Tuesday, January 28th

Joint Meeting of Senate and House Committees on Transportation at 9:00am in House Hearing Room 1

  • Presentation by Arizona Department of Transportation

House Committee on Agriculture and Water at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 5

  • Presentations
  • Central Arizona Project
  • Shane Burgess, Dean, University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Wednesday, January 29th

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Rural Affairs at 9:00 A.M. in Senate Hearing Room 109
  • Executive Nomination - Phil Townsend to Arizona Game and Fish Commission Appointment Recommendation Board. This recommendation board has ensured that no one with any conservation credentials will get appointed to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.
Senate Committee on Public Safety at 2:00 P.M. in Senate Hearing Room 109
Thursday, January 30th

House Committee on Judiciary at 10:00 A.M. in House Hearing Room 4
  • HB2196 election law amendments; repeal (E. Farnsworth) repeals HB2305, a measure that was stopped and referred by the people due to its terrible provisions on early voting and citizen initiatives.  See above for more information. OPPOSE.

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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