editor: fred miller February 28, 2022 Wire #25 Februrary/22
Lotsa of info about the council and the legislature along with a few tidbits about goings on in Bisbee. Check out the truly awful bills.
Tucson Festival of Books 3/12, 13. A back burner project of mine that perhaps I'll have more time for is a Bisbee Festival of Books. I'd like to get a few peeps together to organize it. We could siphon some of those authors coming to Tucson for their gig and bring to our lil town, spread around in different places and put the word out. I think it would be a good event if we could pull it off.
For those that love the excitement of horseracing, Rilito Race track is running every Sat and Sun through April 3. See, hear, smell race horses up close. If you haven't been, it is racing at it used to be; farmers, breeders, amateurs, all running for a few bucks. And the fans are a varied bunch really good for gawking. And you can wager your hard earned bucks on the nags that look best. I love it.
And from the 'you can't please everyone file', I received a fan email from a reader: Stick to Bisbee news. At least you know what you are talking about then.
WARD 3 SEAT OPEN If you know of someone that would be a good councilperson the Ward 3 seat is open. Got to cityofbisbee.gov for applications. And ya know there is a city website and facebook page for info about all sorts of city government things. Really, you don't have to ask dopey questions on facebook about garbage schedules or put out queries how to contact your local administrators. .................. PHONEPOEM!
Bisbee is in the March/April @readersdigest Under the ‘World of Good’ section there is a sweet little write up telling the world about our telepoem booth that is located at the Jonquil Motel in Tombstone Canyon. “The Telepoem Booth is the brainchild of artist Elizabeth Hallstern.” If you have never taken a listen it is well worth a visit. Go into the phone booth put your quarter in and words will pour into your ear. #poetry #telepoembooth #jonquilmotel .................. BISBEE MEDIA MENTION Dot's Diner at Shady Dell gets a full page of ink in the current Arizona Highways with a nod to chef Mike Clements. https://www.arizonahighways.com/business/dots-diner ..................
AZ Republic Sub offer $1/6 months digital
The third story of the Copper Queen Hotel was finished late February in 1901.
NEW PORT OF ENTRY IN DOUGLAS ALLOTTED BIG BUCKS
Douglas new port of entry is scheduled for $200 mill in funding from infrastructure bill passed last year. Additionally the existing Raul Castro port will be modernized. The Port activity-likely not starting for the next couple of years-will be an economic boon in many ways to Cochise County; jobs in construction, local shopping, and tourism, (Every repubnican voted no on that bill. Notwithstanding that It is critical for Arizona and all states to repair roads, bridges and....ports of entry.)
DOPE TAX DOUGH GOES TO THE COUNTY
The Cochise County Sheriff's office will get $132,248, 67%, of the $195,293 in marijuana taxes collected last year. According to PIO Daniel Duchon the money will be spent for personnel. ( go here for the tax collection totals and breakdown: https://azdor.gov/reports-statistics-and-legal-research/marijuana-tax-collection
Allocation of tax money is a bit confusing. Revenue from the excise tax (TPT (16%) and license fees was set to be deposited into the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund. It is then distributed, first to be used to implement and enforce marijuana regulations and the remaining revenue was set to be allocated as follows:
33.0 percent for community college districts;
31.4 percent for municipal police and fire departments, county sheriff departments, and fire districts;
25.4 percent for the state's Highway User Revenue Fund;
10.0 percent for the new Justice Reinvestment Fund; and
0.2 percent for the Arizona Attorney General and local agencies to enforce the initiative.
The CCSD SWAT team also received a $4500 grant from Homeland Security which will go towards a rescue saw and breach explosives.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2022 7:00 PM 915 S. TOVREAVILLE ROAD, BISBEE, ARIZONA
Background here: https://www.bisbeeaz.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03012022-397 Of Interest: #1 Spending your dough #2 Minutes of past decisions and discussions/coming events #3 Finalizes building small second dwellings on property #4 Update on bike/walk path #7 Job description and salary bump for public works dept. #9 Naco, Sonora asked to acquire Bisbee's old garbage trucks. This will donate three trucks to Naco. #10 The contract for La Frontera Partners purchase of Hillcrest apartments for low income, affordable housing. Contingent on getting state tax credits and federal environmental clearance. Closing date is Oct/22. La Frontera has already done some preliminary contractor inspections. (La Frontera Partners hq is in Tucson and among many other services provides low-income housing for families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. more info at: https://lafronteraaz.org) AGENDA INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:
CALL TO THE PUBLIC
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING:
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds
Approval of the Consent Agenda
Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on February 15, 2022.
Approval of the Minutes of the Special Session of Mayor and Council held on February 10, 2022.
Approval of the Resignation of Juanetta Hill from the Bisbee Arts Commission.
Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by Backcountry Discovery Routes for an event to be held at the Jonquil Motel on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 from 2:00pm to 11:00pm, and Thursday, April 7, 2022 through Saturday, April 9, 2022 from 11:00am to 11:00pm; Inna S. Thorn, Applicant.
Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by Tread Lightly Inc. for an event to be held at the Jonquil Motel on Friday, April 22, 2022 and Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 11:00am to 11:00pm; Matthew Caldwell, Applicant.
Approval of a Special Event Liquor License Application submitted by Central School Project Inc. for an event to be held at the Jonquil Motel on Friday, June 3, 2022 from 11:00am to 11:00pm and Saturday, June 4, 2022 through Sunday, June 5, 2022 from 11:00am to 11:00pm; Laurie McKenna, Applicant.
Approval of an Application for Extension of Premises/Patio Permit submitted by Electric Brewing for and event to be held at 1326 W. Highway 92 #7, on Sunday April 17, 2022; Joseph Charles Frederickson, Applicant.
Approval of an Application for Extension of Premises/Patio Permit submitted by Electric Brewing for and event to be held at 1326 W. Highway 92 #7, on Sunday April 24, 2022; Joseph Charles Frederickson, Applicant.
3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance O-22-02; Amending the Zoning Code Article 6, by Establishing a New Section 6.17 Entitled “Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). Doug Taylor, City Planner
4. Presentation by the Greater Cochise County Digital Jobs Accelerator Partnership. Stephen Pauken, City Manager
5. Presentation by Meggen Connolley on the EDA Grant submitted by Bisbee Bikeways. Stephen Pauken, City Manager
6.Discussion and Possible Approval of a Contract for Services and Peregrine Services for Services with Peregrine Services for bill printing. Keri Bagley, Treasurer
7.Discussion and Possible Approval of updated Job Descriptions for the Public Works Department. Joelle Landers, Personnel Director
8.Discussion and Possible Approval to purchase fog deal from Western Emulsions, Inc in the amount of $5,889.80. Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director
9.Discussion and Possible Approval to donate City excess Garbage Trucks and Dumpsters to the City of Municipio de Naco, Sonora, Mexico. Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director
10.Discussion and Possible Approval of the Purchase Agreement for the Hillcrest Property. Joe Estes, City Attorney
City Manager's Report:
Other Current events (No Discussion)
COUNCIL COMMENTS OR FUTURE AGENDA ITEM SUGGESTIONS: (Council members may suggest topics for future meeting agendas, but Council will not here discuss, deliberate or take any action on these topics.):
Councilmember Johns would like to comment on the upcoming Bisbee Festival of the Arts put on by the Bisbee Arts Commission.
LEGISLATURE CONTINUES AUTHORITARIAN EFFORTS
This is from a newsletter put out by Civic Engagement Beyond Voting. A very valuable resource to keep track of what they are trying to do to us. Click the links for more info and to subscribe. ................. AZ LEGISLATURE WEEKLY UPDATE • FEBRUARY 27, 2022
It’s time for Round 2! We’ve reached the theoretical halfway point of session, and committee hearings are starting again. Lawmakers now have until March 25 to consider bills that survived the first deadline.
All the bills we are seeing in committees this week have already passed one full chamber. This round of committee hearings presents our last chance to make our voices heard on these bills using RTS and committee testimony. After March 25, these tools will be unavailable to us, and we’ll have to switch to phone calls, emails, letters to the editor, and other forms of engagement.
This week’s report has three bills we haven’t covered before. Please use RTS on these even if you do nothing else this week.
A tremendous amount is happening behind the scenes. Senate Republicans will hold a closed caucus on Tuesday to discuss the swarm of elections-related bills and how far lawmakers are willing to go in attacking our freedom to vote. This will likely result in some fireworks as soon as the end of this week.
Meanwhile, remember: The only statutory obligation of our state lawmakers is to pass a budget. Those discussions are still happening behind closed doors.
You may be asking: WHAT CAN I DO?
If you have 5 minutes: Use RTS to OPPOSE new-to-us bills HB2439, SB1093 and HB2328.
If you have 10 minutes: Also act on Alert 1.
If you have 15 minutes: Use Request to Speak on bills in committee.
If you have 30 minutes: Act on Alert 2 (bills on the floor).
If you have 45 minutes: Contact your senator and representatives regarding bills in Rules committees, which may head to the floor this week.
If you have 60 minutes: Watch a committee hearing, either in person, or via live broadcast.
Need help? Our last Monday night RTS training of the session is this week! Also join us for a Sunday afternoon RTS Happy Hour (these go through the end of session) or watch our 5-minute RTS training video (best on a separate device you can pause as needed).
Alert #1: Guns don’t belong in public spaces
America’s self-destructive gun fetish has produced a level of home-grown violence unheard of in any other industrialized society — and many of our majority lawmakers seem to have no problem with that. Two bills going through committee this week would allow guns in even more places they don’t belong:
HB2316 would allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring their guns nearly anywhere. Getting a concealed-weapons permit in Arizona is ridiculously easy.
HB2414 would allow anyone over 18 to keep loaded and unlocked weapons within reach in their cars at public schools, despite federal law protecting schools as gun-free zones. This means an 18-year-old high school student could keep an easy-access loaded gun just a parking lot away.
These bills are extreme. The first was too extreme even for then-Gov. Jan Brewer, who vetoed it. But the gun lobby has kept pushing, year after year after year after year — and it seems this time they might succeed. We must speak up. Both bills are scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. Use Request to Speak to OPPOSE.
Alert #2: Help Kill Bills on the House Floor
For bills that didn’t make it through a floor vote last week, time is ticking. If bills are to survive, they need to be passed by a full vote of the originating Senate or House, then be heard in the opposite chamber’s assigned committees, no later than March 25.
Thanks to razor-thin partisan margins, any one majority holdout can kill a bill. This session we’ve already seen that happen multiple times: Rusty Bowers on LGBTQ+ issues, Joel John on education and some “culture war” issues, David Cook on voter registration, local control and gun issues, even Michelle Udall, Regina Cobb and Joanne Osborne on healthcare issues.
Where there are fractures in the majority caucus, there is hope — and there are always fractures. Scan the list of bills on the floor and contact your House or Senate lawmakers to urge them to exercise their power for the good of our state. It only takes one!
Bills on the floor — contact your lawmakers!
HB2009, sponsored by Steve Kaiser (R-15), would allow any single lawmaker to complain to the Attorney General if they feel a district or charter school is doing something illegal. The AG could then order school funding withheld. The sponsor is targeting some schools’ decisions to require masks on campus despite the legislature’s attempt to ban that. Part of a nationwide push. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HB2198, sponsored by Steve Kaiser (R-15), mandates that any employee who is fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 would get one year's salary or reinstatement. The bill is retroactive to 11/30/2021. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HB2413, sponsored by Jacqueline Parker (R-16), would allow a change of juror on grounds of unsubstantiated allegations of bias or prejudice. Several months ago, the Arizona Supreme Court banned dismissing jurors without showing cause; experts lauded the state for “breaking new ground” and creating the most progressive rule on jury selection in the US. This would reverse that, and allow trial lawyers to request a new judge, even for arbitrary or undefined reasons. Retained on House COW 2/17. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HB2492, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-12), would require proof of residency to register to vote, and bans federal-only voters from voting in presidential elections. The bill creates new punishments for non-citizens who attempt to register to vote, as well as subjecting county recorders who violate the statute to a class 6 felony. A state legislature has no power to force a proof-of-citizenship requirement onto the federal form, so this may violate federal law. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday, where it will likely get an amendment. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HB2624, sponsored by Walt Blackman (R-6), would penalize cities and counties if they didn’t spend “enough” on law enforcement. It would deduct state funds from local governments that violate the measure, and redistribute those funds to other cities and counties. Retained on House COW 2/22, 2/24. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HB2637, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-12), would require Arizona’s retirement system to divest from companies that “promote, facilitate or advocate for” abortions for minors, or for “the inclusion of, or the referral of students to, sexually explicit material.” This ill-considered blanket mandate would leave half a million teachers, municipal workers and other government employees with retirement accounts that are unable to invest in most major companies, and creates a minefield for investors and pension fund managers. FAILED House 3rd 2/23 with opposition from Cook, Fillmore and Payne, but is back on reconsideration. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HCR2025, sponsored by John Fillmore (R-16), would ask voters to require of themselves that they show a government-issued voter ID when voting. Harmful voter ID laws deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation, and present a barrier to including more Americans in the democratic process. These laws block millions of eligible American citizens — disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities — from voting. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday, where it will likely get an amendment. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
HCR2028, sponsored by Walt Blackman (R-6), would ask voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to set a minimum amount that cities and counties could collectively spend on law enforcement, adjusted only for population and inflation. Very similar to the public school spending cap that’s causing so much trouble right now. Scheduled for a House floor vote, Monday. Contact your representatives to OPPOSE.
RTS: House and Senate Bills in Committee
Confused on which committees meet when? Can’t remember which committees your lawmaker sits on? Flag this handy list of committee chairs and assignments, updated for 2022.
SB1048, sponsored by Warren Petersen (R-12), would specifically ban all levels of government, from the governor to mayors and county boards, from ordering the closing of any business during a state of emergency. Petersen said the intent is to limit all levels of government from ever forcing any business to shut down. Scheduled for House Military Affairs & Public Safety Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SB1272, sponsored by Tyler Pace (R-25), takes advantage of 2-to-1 federal matching funds to extend postpartum care to low-income women for 1 year. In 2018, more than 1 in 4 pregnancy-related deaths nationwide occurred after the 6-week window for postpartum coverage had elapsed. Keeping moms insured after delivering helps detect complications and postpartum depression, aids in managing chronic conditions, and improves health outcomes for mother and child. Scheduled for House Health & Human Services Committee, Monday. SUPPORT.
SB1275, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-17), would ban fireworks from being used from 11 PM to 8 AM, except on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve when rules would be looser. Lawmakers have been loosening fireworks laws and expanding their use for years. Some citizens say they’re fed up with the constant, all-hours disturbance. Meanwhile, fireworks-related injuries have spiked and air quality has plummeted. Scheduled for House Military Affairs & Public Safety Committee, Monday. SUPPORT.
HB2453, sponsored by Neal Carter (R-8), would ban all government buildings in the state from requiring people to wear face masks. The science is clear: face masks limit the spread of COVID-19. Amended to exempt government-owned healthcare institutions. Scheduled for Senate Government Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
HB2439, sponsored by Beverly Pingerelli (R-21), would get Arizona into the book-banning business by requiring school boards to approve every single book purchase in advance and to publicize for 60 days what books the school libraries plan to buy while allowing public comment on the planned purchases. Cookie-cutter attempts to ban books in schools are being proposed nationwide. As Tucson columnist Tim Steller points out, this push to ban books is politically motivated, based on “a nightmare vision of schools as filtered through focus groups and political messaging tests… None of this is really about improving education, of course — it’s about political power.” Scheduled for Senate Education Committee, Tuesday. OPPOSE.
SB1009, sponsored by Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23), would limit the governor’s ability to declare a state of emergency to 120 days, beginning with the new administration in 2023. After that, both chambers of the legislature would need to reauthorize the state of emergency or go into special session. Extensions could last for a maximum of 30 days, and the governor wouldn't be able to redeclare a state of emergency based on the same conditions if the legislature says no. Republican lawmakers introduced many similar bills in 2021; the most similar failed its final vote on the last day of session, with Sens. Tyler Pace (R-25) and TJ Shope (R-8) joining Democrats to kill the bill. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. Scheduled for House Government & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.
SB1093, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-17), seeks to shift more of the state tax obligation from corporations to individuals, through a mechanism that is “shifty” in multiple ways. By reducing corporate property taxes, personal property taxes would need to increase — except that a statewide cap on personal property taxes then forces the required funding onto the state general fund. These taxes ($48.2 million in FY 2027 alone) are meant to fund high-need public schools. In the Hunger Games that are the Arizona state budget, this shifting of funds necessary for our state’s overall needs would impact other needed services and benefits. Keep in mind that Prop 123 prohibits education from growing beyond half the state’s budget, but we’re getting increasingly close to that figure, which means this bill could end up forcing cuts to education funding. Scheduled for House Ways & Means Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.
SB1094, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-17), would require petition circulators to read the descriptions on initiative and referendum petitions aloud to signers. This year, the bill would also allow the circulator to give the signer "sufficient time" (which is not defined) to read before signing. Each signer would have to affirm to the circulator before signing that they read and understood the description. Signatures which do not follow these rules would be invalid. This move away from personal voter responsibility has one purpose: to make it more difficult for citizens to pass laws lawmakers don't like. Similar to a bill from last year which passed the Senate but stalled in the House. Scheduled for House Government & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.
HB2084, sponsored by Joanne Osborne (R-13), would help kinship families get licensed faster by allowing DCS to waive the required Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card for those families that have already been deemed safe after a fingerprint-based FBI background check. This eliminates the lengthy and duplicative task of going through the Board of Fingerprinting while ensuring the safety of the children. Scheduled for Senate Health & Human Services Committee, Wednesday. SUPPORT.
HB2226, sponsored by Amish Shah (D-24), would ban fireworks from being used overnight, from 11 PM to 8 AM, except on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve when rules would be relaxed somewhat. Lawmakers have been loosening fireworks laws and expanding their use (despite conflicts of interest) for years. Some citizens say they’re fed up with the constant, all-hours disturbance. Meanwhile, fireworks-related injuries have spiked and air quality has plummeted. Scheduled for Senate Commerce Committee, Wednesday. SUPPORT.
HB2316, sponsored by John Kavanagh (R-23), would allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring guns into libraries, community centers, public pools, state museums, the DMV, government offices, block parties, marches and street fairs — even if asked to turn over their firearms for storage. Getting a concealed-weapons permit in Arizona is ridiculously easy: you must only be a legal US resident 21 or older, have no felony convictions or mental illness, and complete an online "safety" course with no minimum requirements or hands-on training. Some form of this bill has been introduced at least 4 times, including in 2014 (when then-Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed it), in 2017, and again in 2021. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE.
HB2328, sponsored by Kevin Payne (R-21), would remove financial liability from companies that contract with the state for prison labor, preventing them from being held accountable for injuries or deaths. The Arizona Department of Corrections contracts inmate labor to companies like Hickman's Egg Farms, which has a history of inmates reporting serious injuries. Women working there have been seriously injured on the job and pushed to continue in inhospitable conditions for pay as little as 15 cents an hour. Many of these inmates, if injured, would have no recourse other than to sue. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE.
HB2414, sponsored by Jacqueline Parker (R-16), would allow parents to bypass gun-free zones at public schools and keep loaded and unlocked weapons within reach in their cars while dropping off and picking up children. Data shows that people who simply have a gun within reach are 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a firearm compared to people without access. The bill is moving despite federal law that protects nearly every school as a gun-free zone. Those carrying a gun without a concealed weapons permit may violate the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 by storing a loaded gun in their vehicle at a school. This bill was also introduced in 2019 and 2021, but failed to pass. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE.
HB2595, sponsored by Jacqueline Parker (R-16), would allow a change of judge on grounds of unsubstantiated allegations of bias or prejudice. This bill is a bad idea for the same reason the juror bill is; it allows trial lawyers to request a new judge even for arbitrary or ill-defined reasons, effectively playing “judge roulette” to see if they can get one more to their liking. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE.
RTS: Bills in Rules Committees
Rules meets only to determine whether bills are constitutional and in the proper format. It's another opportunity to get your name on record in support or opposition, but don't bother with comments – the lawmakers won't read them. Positions must be entered before 8 AM Monday.
These bills could be headed for a vote of the full House or Senate as soon as this week.
HB2493, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-12), would spend $12 million on an “election integrity fund” for election security, cybersecurity measures, and improvements and reimbursements for post-election hand counts, including additional staff for county recorders. Appears to be designed to set up the state to move away from machine-counting ballots. On top of being slower, hand counts are more inaccurate; according to a widely cited 2012 study, hand counting could introduce up to a 2 percentage-point error in an election. Scheduled for House Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
You made it to the end of this doc. Well done! Keep using Arizona's Request to Speak system and contacting your legislators. Reps always say they listen more to individual citizens than lobbyists, so we must work to keep up the pressure until the legislative session ends.
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