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  "When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome."
~ Wilma Rudolph 

February 7, 2014

Dear Conservation Friends,

Howling wolf
  credit:  US Fish and Wildlife Service

A lot of people thought there would be fewer bills this legislative session. They were wrong. Legislators have introduced a very long list of bills already and the bill deadline for the House is not until Monday. There is also an extremely long list of bad bills, unconstitutional measures, and terrible messages to Congress. Senator Crandell is looking to stop unannounced inspections from the Mine Safety Health Administration and others want to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing any rules under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and more. As you can tell, legislators really need to hear from you!

Senator Gail Griffin's three bills to impede Mexican gray wolf recovery and support killing more wolves advanced out of her committee this week along party lines. They could come to the Floor as early as next week, so please take action.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Take Action!
Please ask your Senator to oppose all three anti-wolf bills.



HB2014 ballot measures; proposition 105 disclosure
(Ugenti) will likely go to the House Floor for a Third Read next week. It 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. It is electioneering on the ballot itself, which is totally inappropriate.

Take Action!
Please ask your Representatives to vote no on HB2014.



 

Arizona Capitol by Mark Coryell
  credit: Sandy Bahr

 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!

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 10th

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

  • Presentation by Central Arizona Project
  •  SB1227 municipalities; counties; energy efficient codes (Crandell) prohibits cities, towns, and counties from adopting any mandatory energy efficiency, energy conservation, or green building codes -- all or in part. This is a terrible bills that would hinder local efforts to reduce electricity and water use and save taxpayers' dollars. OPPOSE.
  • SCM1006 urging Congress; PILT program; funding (Griffin, Crandell: Pierce, et al.) asks Congress for full funding for the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which provides funding for counties with significant amounts of public lands. It also asks Congress to help with economic development associated with the lands. I doubt this is necessary.
  • SCR1022 rulemaking; electric generating units; opposition (Griffin, Burges, Shooter, et al.) it asks Congress to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing carbon standards for power plants. OPPOSE.

Senate Committee on Judiciary at 2:00 P.M. or when Floor adjourns in Senate Hearing Room 1

  • SB1270 election law amendments; repeal (Biggs, Crandell, Driggs, et al.) repeals the provisions of HB2305. 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 SB1270, 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. OPPOSE.
  • SB1469 ballot measures; enforcement; actions (Driggs, D. Farnsworth, McComish. et al.) allows affected individuals to file actions relative to ballot measures. This could be another way to undermine citizen initiatives. MONITOR.

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

  • Presentation by Mark Ourada, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
  • HB2106 wildland-urban interface study committee (Kavanagh) establishes a wildland-urban interface study committee to study and develop legislation relating to state laws and local ordinances relating to the creation of defensible space in and around wildland-urban interface areas, including the removal of hazardous vegetation, as well as building codes for residential and commercial buildings in wildland-urban interface areas relating to fire prevention and control. SUPPORT.
  • HB2343 supplemental appropriation; state forester (Barton, Thorpe: Crandell) appropriates $25 million to the state forester for forest thinning. With no sidebars or further direction, this seems unwise.MONITOR.
  • HB2536 best land management practices; appropriation (Otonto, Barton, Escamilla, et al.) directs the state land commissioner and state forester to develop best land management practices to reduce fire severity and then to identify an area that would benefit from them. It sets up a fund for doing this, but does not include an appropriation. We may be able support this, but would like to see some additional sidebars on it as well. MONITOR.
  • HB2129 technical correction; air pollution; permits (Pratt) has a strike-everything amendment on vegetative natural products program; appropriation. It directs the state land department to develop programs for removing vegetation and selling it. It appropriates $150,000 for these purposes. The language in the strike-everything amendment appears to primarily focus on removing vegetation rather than restoring natural processes. It is not a measure to ensure healthy ecosystems, that is for sure. MONITOR
  • HB2358 tax; valuation; renewal energy equipment (Fann) says that for tax purposes the full cash value of renewable energy equipment is 20 percent of the depreciated cost of the equipment. Apparently this is something that Sempra has requested, but it is unclear why. MONITOR.

House Committee on Ways and Means at 2:00 P.M. in House Hearing Room 1

  • HB2285 technical correction; mining classification (Lesko) has a strike-everything amendment on TPT, refined coal transfer; exemption that exempts, from state, county, city, town, and special district Transaction Privilege Tax, the transfer of title or possession of coal, back and forth, between a coal refinery and power plant. We are still evaluating this, but does coal really need more subsidies?  

Tuesday, February 11th

Senate Committee on Appropriations at 2:00 P.M. in Senate Hearing Room 109

Senate Committee on Elections at 2:00 P.M. in Senate Hearing Room 1

  •  SB1232 ballot measures; paid circulators; registration (Reagan) expands the registration requirements for out of state circulators to include any paid circulators. It also provides for allowing any person in the county where the circulator is registered to challenge it. It seems like a measure to make things tougher.
  • SB1344 contribution limits; clean elections authority (Pierce: Biggs) limits the Clean Elections Commission's authority to take an enforcement action against someone who is running under the big money system. This means almost no enforcement as the attorney general (who, by the way has been charged with violations of the campaign finance laws) does not act on much of anything. OPPOSE.
  • SB1403 campaign finance; independent expenditures; disclosure (Reagan, Farley, Gallardo, et al.) states that is it is a violation of the independent expenditure disclosure provisions for an officer of a corporation or labor organization to transfer money in a series of a transfers in order to avoid disclosure. SUPPORT.
  • SCR1003 initiatives; referendum measures; periodic reauthorization (Crandell, Ward, Kwasman, et al.) requires that any ballot measure that affects the state general fund must be reauthorized on the ballot after seven full fiscal years. It is retroactive and affects all statutory and constitutional measures. Does this mean we have to have another vote on women's suffrage? OPPOSE.

House Committee on Government at 2:00 P.M. in House Hearing Room 4

  • HB2013 counties; flood control districts; rules (Ugenti) establishes a rule-making process for the counties that gives regulated entities even more influence. This looks like a bill being pushed by the sand and gravel operations. OPPOSE.

 House Committee on Agriculture and Waters at 2:00 P.M. in House Hearing Room 5

  • HB2149 state parks; SLIF fund distribution (Borelli, Carter, Thorpe, et al.) appears to be an attempt to ensure that the State Lake Improvement Fund dollars are allocated by State Parks, not the Legislature. This does not really do that as the Legislature can always use the "notwithstanding" language to ignore a law such as this.
  • HB2523 projects; water supply development (Barton, Thorpe, Tobin, et al.) appropriates $30 million to a fund for developing water supplies. It increases the payback period from 30 to 50 years. It looks like this could be for a community such as Prescott to build a certain pipeline.

Senate Committee on Transportation at 2:00 P.M. in Senate Hearing Room 3

  •  SB1277 vehicle right-of-way; buses (Burges, Farley, Borrelli, et al. ) allows local government to give buses the right of way from bus pullouts. This is a good safety provision and also good for transit. SUPPORT.

Wednesday, February 12th

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Rural Affairs at 9:00 A.M. in Senate Hearing Room 109
House Committee on Public Safety, Military, and Regulatory Affairs at 9:00 A.M. in House Hearing Room 3
  • HB2541 federal land; emergency access (Townsend, Allen, Borrelli, et al.) says the state or local government can access federal land in an emergency. This looks like an attempt to get heavy equipment into wilderness under the guise of an "emergency." OPPOSE.
Senate Committee on Finance at 2:00 P.M. in Senate Hearing Room 3
  • SB1413 taxes; manufacturers' electricity sales; exemption (Yarbrough, Worsley, Yee, et al.) exempts from sales tax the purchase price of electricity used in manufacturing or smelting operations. This is another big tax exemption for mining and other manufacturing. There may be an amendment to limit the exemption to only electricity generated from renewable sources. That would improve it substantially. OPPOSE.
Thursday, February 13th
House Committee on Transportation 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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