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  "Only a mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf."
-Aldo Leopold 

January 31, 2014

Dear Conservation Friends,

Wolf pup (Photo courtesy of USFWS)
  credit:  US Fish and Wildlife Service

This week, legislators started moving along legislation in earnest, including the bill to repeal the referendum on elections. House Judiciary Committee members voted along party lines. The Committee Chair was rather defensive as many people rightly questioned the motives of the body to repeal and then reenact the measure. There were some semantics gymnastics as the Chair indicated there were no bills in the process to do that -- at the moment -- and that while he had no plans to reintroduce measures, he thought it was necessary. Stay tuned on this and please take action below.

And the hits just keep on coming. This week, Senator Griffin, chair of the Senate Government and Environment Committee has three anti-wolf measures scheduled for her committee, and she happens to be the prime sponsor on all three too. Please come to the hearing and speak up for wolves!  See details below. Senator Griffin's bills focus on impeding Mexican gray wolf recovery and support killing more wolves. Please send a message to the committee members asking them to oppose all three bills.

Take Action!
Ask Senate Government and Environment Committee members to oppose three anti-wolf bills.



Election time

HB2196 elections laws amendments: repeal (E. Farnsworth), the election bill mentioned above, could go to the floor of the House next week. It 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.

Take Action!
Also, ask your representatives to vote no on HB2196.

 


  

Citizen Lobby Workshop 2012


 Make a Difference in 2014 - and beyond!

Citizen Lobby/Advocacy Workshop

February 11, 2014
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Flagstaff Federated Community Church
400 W Aspen Ave (map)
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

 Are you ready to make a difference?  Interested in helping to protect Arizona’s air, land, water, and wildlife? Concerned about wolves and wilderness? Please join us for this fun (yes fun) and informative workshop.  Arizona needs more advocates who are willing to meet with legislators, city council people, county supervisors, and other officials who have enormous impact on our future and on what kind of legacy we leave for the next generation.  The workshop runs two hours and covers the basics on Arizona government, how a bill becomes a law, how a bill really becomes a law, and Dos and Don'ts of Citizen Lobbying with your elected officials.  We will also have food and drinks as we know this is during dinner time for many. Please let us know if you have specific dietary needs.

To R.S.V.P. click on Citizen Lobby Workshop. You can find out more about it by calling (602) 253-8633 or emailing sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.

 
Co-sponsored by Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter, Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, and Arizona Ecumenical Council Earth Care Commission.
 



Don't forget to mark your calendar for Environmental Day at the Capitol on February 18th! To R.S.V.P., just click on RSVP Environmental Day and fill in your information.



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
http://arizona.sierraclub.org

 

Coming Up This Week at the Legislature 

Monday, February 3rd

Senate Committee on Government and Environment at 2:00 P.M. or when the Floor adjourns in Senate Hearing Room 3

  • Presentation by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
  • SB1150 sewer connection; county islands; prohibition (Farnsworth, Barto, Burges, et al.) prohibits a municipality from requiring property owners to connect to the city or town’s sewer system if the property is located in a county island. This may have some public health implications, so we are monitoring it.
  • SB1211 Mexican wolf; taking; reporting (Griffin, Burges, D. Farnsworth, et al.) allows an employee of the Arizona Department of Agriculture to kill any wolf that has killed or is killing livestock. It states that the employee will not be subject to a penalty under federal law. It goes on to say that the livestock industry cannot be held liable for killing endangered wolves and it requires certain reporting from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, including on DNA of each wolf reintroduced and any incidences of a wolf harming, harassing, or killing people or livestock (yes, it treats people and livestock the same). OPPOSE
  • SB1212 appropriation; wolf recovery; litigation costs (Griffin, Burges, Crandell, et al.) appropriates $250,000 for state litigation to impede federal efforts to recover Mexican wolves. OPPOSE
  • SB1274 aquifer protection permits; post closure procedure (Griffin, Barto, Burges, et al.) makes several changes to the financial assurance provisions of the aquifer protection permit program, particularly related to facility closure requirements. It appears to allow the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality direct to approve something other than compliance with drinking water standards -- all of Arizona's aquifers have been designated for drinking water. If passed, the provision would mean a significant weakening of this important groundwater quality protection program. OPPOSE.
  • SB1292 Arizona resource advisory council (Griffin) establishes this council to advise the state regarding the planning and management of federal land resources. It includes a long list of interests that must be represented on the council, including timber, mining, energy development, archaeology, and possibly environmental. MONITOR
  • SB1293 publicity pamphlets; disclosure (Griffin) pre-empts all  city and county provisions relative to a publicity pamphlet for a bond election and requires that it require only certain things relating to the tax estimate for various types of property. This looks like an effort to undermine local bonding authority, which could impact open space bonds. MONITOR
  • SCR1006 Mexican wolf; population rule (Griffin) is a resolution -- a message -- that contains inaccurate information and inflammatory language on wolves. It states that the legislature opposes additional introductions in Arizona and New Mexico, unless it is determined they cannot be introduced in northern Mexico, and it says the legislature supports killing wolves that have harassed or killed livestock, pets, or people. Including people on the list with livestock and pets is a bit over the top. Wolves are not harassing, harming, or killing people. OPPOSE
  • SR1003 EPA; nullification of rules (Burges, Crandell, D. Farnsworth, et al. ) states that the Senate supports nullifying all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. Apparently these bill sponsors are no fans of clean air or clean, safe drinking water. I bet more people might vote to nullify the actions of the Arizona Legislature. OPPOSE

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

  • HB2092 department of environmental quality; continuation (Shope, Cardenas, Fann, et al.) continues the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality through 2024. Unfortunately, the stated purpose of the agency is no longer to protect the environment, but to instead "consolidate and focus responsibility for environmental management and administration of water quality, air quality, solid waste and hazardous waste regulation with the goal of increasing effectiveness, efficiency and public acceptance of environmental regulation." Sheesh.
  • HB2128 weights; measures; vapor recovery systems (Pratt: Shope, Griffin) makes numerous changes to the requirements for vapor recovery mechanisms and procedures for gas stations.  It eliminates the need for new gas stations to install the stage II vapor recovery. The reason for this is they do not work effectively with most cars now on the road. This is the direction that EPA has been moving. MONITOR
  • HB2226 vehicle emissions inspection program (Fann) makes some technical changes to the vehicle emissions inspection program. We will monitor it.  
  • HB2442 air quality; begin actual construction (Gowan, Stevens, Thorpe, et al.) exempts "preparatory activities" at a facility from air quality regulation. Considering that a lot of preparatory activities entail earth moving and generate a fair amount of pollution, this is unwise. The bill does have a conditional enactment, indicating it would not be effective unless EPA approved of a modification in our state implementation plan. OPPOSE

Tuesday, February 4th

House Committee on Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility at 2:00 P.M. in House Hearing Room 1

  • HCR2018 funding ballot measures; reauthorization (Boyer, Thorpe: Allen, et al.) refers to the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that requires that all ballot measures that have an expenditure associated with them be re-referred to the ballot every eight years. It is retroactive, so past ballot measures would go to the ballot as well. This will make it even more difficult to improve environmental protection, reinstate the State Parks Heritage Fund, and other measures as most advocates do not have the resources to run a campaign every eight years. OPPOSE

Wednesday, February 5th

House Committee on Public Safety, Military, and Regulatory Affairs at 9:00 A.M. in House Hearing Room 3
   

 
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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