top of page

BISBEE WIRE #51/Artemizia Opens/Council agenda/capitalists whine/the putrid odor at the lege

editor: fred miller March 20, 2023 #51/March/2023


Hello,


It appears that republicans are pushing a very risky strategy in appealing to the most extreme-and the smallest-number of voters by focusing on 'cultural' and 'election denial' legislation. They are trying to appeal to the very narrowest of interests, in a an authoritarian way.

In the meantime, homelessness increases while water decreases, state surpluses get spent on higher earning parents sending their kids to private schools while special needs parents plead for support, and many economic issues are shuffled to the sidelines.

It helps if you comment on the various bills below.


I know the readers of the Wire are not interested in low brow cultural gossip (although I know a few of you have been known to sneak a peek). Therefore I generally don't print salacious and scintillating shenanagins, interesting tho they may be to the lumpen and the peekers. There is a thing though going with Trummmmp and Stormy Daniels, a porn star. So in the interest of politics, rather than the smutty details of the ins and outs, as it were, of the former prez, I suggest you read this article from Popular Information. It is more than just an explanation of dufus trump paying $130,000 for a one nighter. It may be that Trump will be hoist on his own petard.


I've been trying to get issues out a bit quicker given what is going on with the legislature. In my hurry, I occasionally make mistakes so if you spot one, please let me know. Coming issues on what is going on with SRT's, Bisbee economy, and the future of journalism.


fred



...............THE COUNCIL...............

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2023, AT 7:00 PM 915 S. TOVREAVILLE ROAD



Agenda

INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Fair Housing Proclamation

  • Longevity Recognition Ashlee Coronado and Keri Bagley

CALL TO THE PUBLIC

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING:

GENERAL BUSINESS:

1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds.

2. Approval of the Consent Agenda

  1. Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on March 7, 2023.

OLD BUSINESS

3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance O-23-04; an Ordinance of the Mayor and Council of the City of Bisbee, Approving the amendments to the City of Bisbee Sanitation Code, for the Low-Income Program.

Keri Bagley, Finance Director

4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance O-23-05; an Ordinance of the Mayor and Council of the City of Bisbee, Approving the amendments to the City of Bisbee Sewer Code, for the Low-Income Program.

Keri Bagley, Finance Director

NEW BUSINESS

5. Public Hearing on Potential Declaration of Emergency by the City Council in relation to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Expenditure Limitation.

Keri Bagley, Finance Director

6. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution R-23-05; Declaration of Emergency by the City Council in Relation to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Expenditure Limitation.

Keri Bagley, Finance Director

7. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Recommendation from the Bisbee Arts Commission to fund a Grant Application for “The Best Kept Secret’s of Bisbee” submitted by Ms. Rita Verri in the amount of $500.00 from the Bisbee Arts Commission Fund.

Leslie Johns, Bisbee Arts Commission Council

8. Discussion and Possible Approval of a contract with RICOH for a 60-month finance purchase of new printer/copier for the Copper Queen Library.

Jason Macoviak, Library Manager

9. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Notice of Intent to adopt Ordinance O-23-06; Amending City of Bisbee Code Chapter 6 Animals, Article 6.1 Animals in General, Adopting a new subsection 6.1.18 Unlawful Public Sale of Animals, for the purpose for Regulating the Sale of Animals.

Ken Budge, Mayor

10. Discussion and Possible Approval to participate in the five newly proposed National Opioid Settlements with Teva, Allergan, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.

Joe Estes, City Attorney

11. City Manager's Report



I FEEL A RANT COMIN ON ...

THE SCHLUBS OF SILICON VALLEY

Once again us working folk are stuck paying for incompetent capitalists! So like, putting money into a bank that is not insured past the first $250k, and then like, making poor loans with little collateral, and then like, the bank collapses under the weight of the bad loans? And then like, who is to blame? Well, those whiny tech capitalists muthafukers that didn't understand a lick about banking. That's who. You can tell them by the yellow streak down their back as they have rushed, along with other banks, corporations, and chambers of commerce, to demand the government bail them out. "Do something!" they whined. Don't let it go down, We'll lose money!

And sure enuff the Fed moved in and bailed them out. The banking system is that fragile? That was a bailout using taxpayer money for these arrogant twits who thought they were Masters of the Universe and revealed themselves to be Schlubs of Silicon Valley. Disfukingusting!

Oh, What's that you say? The CEO of SVB sold $3.5 million in company stock and top executives sold millions stock worth more millions a few days before the bank failed!

And who was in favor of deregulating the banks in 2018, gutting Dodd-Frank oversight of medium banks provisions? I mean besides the preening, wailing, grifter who championed the weakening of bank oversight and has had the most bankruptcies of any prez? Many of those Wall St. and Silicon Valley gripers and their paid minions that creeped in and out of legislator offices.

And their whines fell on receptive ears, including AZ Rep Sinema who was a yes in the house, but not alone. Sixteen dems voted to reduce bank oversight. Someone with more time on their hands than me would likely find a corollary between the votes for deregulation and the bank contributions to those same peeps.


Listen up Democrats! You want to win elections? Then start speaking with a loud, insistent voice...MAKE THEM PAY! These arrogant, contemptuous, supercilious, men make them pay. TAKE THEIR MONEY! No way they should keep their money! PUT THEM IN ALCATRAZ! Put them in a real prison! MAKE THEM DO REAL WORK! Make them mop floors and do laundry-Get their soft manicured hands dirty!

Dems! Do we have to spell it out for you?


...............BISBEE STUFF................

HEY THIS IS POOL MONEY, DIVE IN COUNCIL

Gov. Katie Hobbs is opening applications for nearly $200 million in federal Covid money that was part of now-canceled contracts signed by then-Gov. Doug Ducey just before Hobbs took office in January.

Of those funds, $100 million will go to schools and local education agencies to “address Covid-19 recovery and mitigation efforts;” an additional $50 million will go to long-term projects aimed at addressing the impacts of the pandemic; and $37.5 million will be for schools and nonprofits to offer summer programs this year.

Applications for the $100 million grant pool were opened last week and are due by April 6; applications for summer program funding opened on March 16 and will close April 13. The Governor’s Office indicated that the other $50 million grant would begin accepting applications in the coming weeks.

The application can be accessed through the eCIVIS AZ portal. Note: new users will need to create a free account which will allow them to access all current solicitations in Arizona.


How bout setting up an ART CAMP for County kids in Bisbee? We got a ton of artists, we got spaces, we got the knowhow, we've got gallery and performance spaces, and we got the Pizzazzzzz. And the State has just unleashed a ton of dough!


<><>

BISBEE SATURDAY MARKET OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS

Bisbee Saturday Market is pleased to announce we are offering 2 scholarships to members of the Bisbee High School graduating class of 2023.

Scholarship #1 $1000.00 To a student pursuing further study in agriculture, food sustainability or culinary artsScholarship #2 $1000.00 To a student pursuing further study in art or music. To apply simply write an essay explaining why this is your passion, what your plans are for further study and what your hopes and dreams are for your future in these fields.

nclude a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, and name of the further education institution along with a copy of your acceptance letter to the institution you will be attending in the fall.

Mail it to Bisbee Saturday Market, PO Box 415, Bisbee AZ 85603

Or submit it, in person at the information booth at Saturday Market any Saturday prior to 4/30/23. We will contact you directly if you are chosen.


<><>

ARIZONA GIVES

The 10th Annual Arizona Gives Day is set for April 4. There are three Bisbee orgs that qualify; Bi-National Arts Institute, Premier Alliance, Echoing Hope Ranch (Hereford).

To register your non-profit go here, but please note it is too late this year. Registeration involves a $50 fee and submitting forms proving you are a bona fide 501.c3. https://azgives.civicore.com/inquiry?


<><>

GO SEE DANCE DANCE DANCE

Rite Verri's “Rhythms of Bisbee” continues on March 24, 25 and 26th. at Central School. We went on Sunday and be damned if my Walter Mitty dance dreams didn't emerge. The opening number "mindfulness of rebirth' was awe inspiring, Juliann Thomas ' 'Ritmo de Flamenco' closing act was invigorating, and the acts in between delightful-'What is Love' , impressive-Ben and Angela, and others just plain wonderful. A vid of a choregraphed dance by Abigal Stage and others at the San Pedro was dreamy and evocative.

Tix are at eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/


<><>

Chiricahua Dental is now scheduling appointments in Bisbee every Wednesday . Ages up to 21. In the future they will be setting up in Naco as well, but they wanted to word to get out about Bisbee. 520 364-1429 for info/appts.


<><>

BISBEE MENTIONS


ARTEMIZIA OPENS

They are hanging the last pieces this week, the punch list is almost finished, a mural or two is being touched up, the wait is almost over. Artemizia Foundation Gallery will be opening March 30 in the former School House Inn site at 818 Tombstone Canyon. It will likely become the premier Arizona destination for Contemporary, Graffiti, and Street Art.


The gallery is a sensory overload with more than 700 pieces in a permanent collection throughout the restored building. Visitors will literally be saturated with art. A huge space, named Gallery 818, will be the focus of new exhibitions every few months featuring local, national, and international artists, as well as event space. It is now taken up by two large sculptures sprawling on the floor-not edible peanuts-and several huge pieces on the wall.

.


There is a stunning mural labyrinth in several 'rooms' that guests will stroll through though and see a vintage pinball machine-'Democracy is out of Order', tapestries, an infinity mirror, neon, and huge murals. It'll knock you stupid!


Bisbee is now the city with one of the most stunning contemporary galleries in the nation. Nationally known artists such as Banksy, Wrdsmth, Swoon, Cey Adams, MissMe, Judy Chicago, Shepard Fairey, Jeff Koons, Ai WeiWei, Keith Harrington, Muck Rock, and many more are prominent in the many rooms. 'Street Art' has become an art form, often protesting politics of the location, that is increasingly prominent in many cities (and on railroad cars!). Beauty and Discomfort coexist.


Sloan Bouchever, as well as his wife, Danielle, are well known in Bisbee for their philanthropy. The new art space has been Sloan's vision for several years that is now coming to fruition.


.

He has a long standing committment to feature diverse artists and Artemizia has an equal number of female and male artists with almost half of the artists people of color

.


The working team at Artemizia Foundation includes, Sherri Morgan/Associate Director, Shannon Benson/Facility Manager Docent, Issac de la Cruz/Art Handler Exhibit Coordinator in addition to Bouchever/Founder...Director.


Hours are Thursday through Sunday 10-4 pm. Admission $10. No children under 13. No pets, with exception of certified service dogs. For membership and more information go to: artemiziafoundation.org


...............THE LEGE................

This is a newsletter put out by Melinda Merkel Iyer. Details for free subs are below the long list of bills. This is an edited version of CBEV Weekly March 20. Legislators have descended on school board meetings with loudspeakers and mobile billboards, harassing unpaid school board members and demanding that they resign. They’re trying to jail teachers for recommending the wrong book. They want to ban everything from M*A*S*H to Shakespeare. They spend their time at the Capitol spouting off about “men wearing bikinis dancing weird,” showing that they’ve likely never come within a mile of an actual drag show. And their rhetoric is dangerous enough that it’s inspired bomb threats and death threats.

Voters are tired of the noise and the nonsense. Their fatigue is centered primarily on hyperpartisanship, but also the overall negative tone of political discourse in our society at large. We can’t say we blame them. Yet the MAGA contingent shows no sign of backing off.

Right-wing political consultant Chuck Coughlin has been trying to warn Republicans that their election conspiracies and culture war issues aren’t resonating with voters at large: "I've been telling Republicans that talk to us down at the legislature, if they continue in the manner they're currently behaving, they will be a minority at the end of ‘24."

All the noise obscures the real issues that our government could be addressing: issues like securing our water future, investing in our community public schools, and building more affordable housing. And it really is just noise: the divisions in the general public aren’t as deep as voters think. For example, though Democrats think the top Republican issue is election fraud, just 19% of Republicans say that’s their top priority.

Americans are eager for a departure from the “us vs. them” narratives. If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken the first step. Active citizenship (working at a polling place, volunteering for a campaign, registering people to vote) can help lift the sense of futility. More Americans becoming engaged in civic life could be good for the country — and for our collective mood.

We’ve listed five good ideas in the “Bills on the Floor” section below, marked with a 🌟. Please contact Senate President Warren Petersen at wpetersen@azleg.gov or 602-926-4136, thank him for hearing these bills, and encourage him to see the process through by ensuring they make it on the board for a simple up-or-down vote.

Issue 2: New Bills in Request to Speak

Yes, more new bills this week! This is the first appearance for these four bills in the CEBV Weekly. More information is available in the Bills in Committee section below; just search for the bill numbers. If you RTS on nothing else this week, please weigh in on these.

  • SB1029, Kern (R-27), would expand Arizona’s first-degree murder law to include deaths by fentanyl, potentially subjecting friends or family of overdose victims to prosecution that includes penalties of life in prison or the death penalty. OPPOSE.

  • SB1188, Mesnard (R-13), would ban consumer fireworks from being used on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. SUPPORT.

  • SB1197, Gowan (R-19), would ban juvenile courts from billing kids or their parents for detention. This practice contributes to youth recidivism and runs counter to the juvenile justice system’s mission to help kids learn from their mistakes. SUPPORT.

  • HB2705, Biasiucci (R-30), would create a school safety training pilot program that appears intended to qualify teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons in schools. OPPOSE.

Issue 1: Last Chance Depot for Good Bills

Once again this year, Republican legislative leadership has used their power to quash the vast majority of bills sponsored by non-Republicans. That’s more than 600 of the 1600+ bills introduced — and fewer than 50 of those have made it through a committee in their chamber of origin. This week is the last chance for these bills to receive a full vote in their “home” chamber. This will allow them to be put on a committee agenda in the other chamber, survive the upcoming crossover bill deadline and, hopefully, get a chance at becoming law.

Each of these bills is scheduled for a floor vote on Monday. COW and Third Read floor calendars are released only the night before, so we don’t yet have information for Tuesday through Thursday. Contact your senator or representatives directly, as applicable, on bills you care about.

Monday

HB2078, sponsored by Lupe Diaz (R-19), sets up a mandatory election audit process that candidates, political parties and PACs could exploit. Have we learned nothing over the last two years? Despite eight failed lawsuits over the 2020 election and a clownish ballot review led by Senate Republicans, there is no evidence of fraud in Arizona. Under the wrong Secretary of State, this could become an even bigger circus than the failed Cyber Ninjas audit Arizona recently suffered. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2319, sponsored by Alexander Kolodin (R-3), sets up a legal conflict between the judiciary and legislative branches of government by declaring transparency the overarching goal for conducting elections, and declaring that existing court opinions on elections do not have any precedent if they conflict with this bill. It’s a poorly written bill, and a lawsuit waiting to happen (at our expense). Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2415, sponsored by Leo Biasiucci (R-30), would further restrict early voting by stripping voters from the early voting list if they fail to vote their early ballots in all elections within a single election cycle. The current law requires voters to participate in two back-to-back primary and general elections before being dropped. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

SB1135, sponsored by John Kavanagh (R-3), would force voters who try to return their early ballots at the polls on Election Day to stand in line, surrender their early ballot, show ID, and then wait their turn to fill in a fresh ballot. In November 2022, nearly 1 in 5 voters chose to return their early ballots on Election Day. This bill would also end “emergency voting,” as in-person voting the weekend before Election Day is called. The sponsor says he is trying to “stop voter fraud”; despite copious conspiracy theories, experts say that is exceedingly rare. Scheduled for a Senate floor vote, Monday. OPPOSE.

🌟 SB1159, sponsored by Christine Marsh (D-4), would legalize drug testing equipment that is used to identify or analyze the strength, effectiveness, or purity of drugs. Possessing such equipment is currently a felony. Marsh lost her son to a fentanyl overdose after he took a pill he didn’t know was laced with the potent synthetic opioid. Fentanyl was developed for pain management of cancer but is now increasingly added to street drugs, making them even more deadly. This bill would provide another tool to increase public safety. Scheduled for a Senate floor vote, Monday. SUPPORT.

🌟 SB1160, sponsored by Christine Marsh (D-4), would keep someone who seeks medical help for another person experiencing a drug-related overdose from being arrested for possession or use of drugs. Research shows the most common reason people don't seek medical help in these situations is fear of arrest, and also that most overdoses are witnessed. Immunizing witnesses from prosecution will reduce this fear and save lives. Scheduled for a Senate floor vote, Monday. SUPPORT.

🌟 SB1544, sponsored by Lela Alston (D-5), would raise the monthly stipend for kinship foster care parents (those related to the child) to the same $600 per month that every other foster parent gets. Kinship foster parents are often grandparents raising grandkids; the bill sponsor, who has been working for parity for these families since 2019, says some families must send the children back to the state because they cannot afford to take care of them. Scheduled for a Senate floor vote, Monday. SUPPORT.

🌟 SB1546, sponsored by Lela Alston (D-5), would set up a $100,000 grant program for district and charter school community gardens. School gardens offer many benefits, including making healthy food more appealing to kids, helping fight hunger, and aiding emotional regulation. Scheduled for a Senate floor vote, Monday. SUPPORT.

🌟 SB1569, sponsored by Raquel Terán (D-26), would create a 19-member study committee on Statewide Eviction Prevention and Housing Affordability. Many positive pieces of legislation addressing serious issues are born from study committees. Scheduled for a Senate floor vote, Monday. SUPPORT. The stakes are higher now. All of these bills have been through committees and a full floor vote in their chamber of origin. From here, the path to the governor’s desk is much shorter: only a single floor vote remains.

Monday

HB2078, sponsored by Lupe Diaz (R-19), sets up a mandatory election audit process that candidates, political parties and PACs could exploit. Have we learned nothing over the last two years? Despite eight failed lawsuits over the 2020 election and a clownish ballot review led by Senate Republicans, there is no evidence of fraud in Arizona. Under the wrong Secretary of State, this could become an even bigger circus than the failed Cyber Ninjas audit Arizona recently suffered. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2319, sponsored by Alexander Kolodin (R-3), sets up a legal conflict between the judiciary and legislative branches of government by declaring transparency the overarching goal for conducting elections, and declaring that existing court opinions on elections do not have any precedent if they conflict with this bill. It’s a poorly written bill, and a lawsuit waiting to happen (at our expense). Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2415, sponsored by Leo Biasiucci (R-30), would further restrict early voting by stripping voters from the early voting list if they fail to vote their early ballots in all elections within a single election cycle. The current law requires voters to participate in two back-to-back primary and general elections before being dropped. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2504, sponsored by Barbara Parker (R-10), would expand the school tuition organization (STO) voucher program to students in foster care. STOs, or "Arizona's first vouchers," are dollar-for-dollar tax credits to private schools that result in significantly less money for public schools. The bill is estimated to cost the state half a million dollars annually (these estimates historically run low). Since the STO voucher program's creation, Arizona’s general fund has lost out on over $2.1 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, our state's public school funding remains in the bottom 5 nationwide. Scheduled for Senate Finance Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2552, sponsored by Austin Smith (R-29), would ban the use of ranked choice voting in Arizona. Ranked choice voting, similar to an automatic runoff, would open up partisan primaries to all voters regardless of party registration, and tends to result in more centrist, less polarized victors. See duplicate measure SB1265, sponsored by Anthony Kern (R-27). Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2591, sponsored by Gail Griffin (R-19), would mandate that ballot drop boxes must be located inside a county building or secured to a building or footing. This institutes more roadblocks to voting, such as precluding people from dropping off their ballots at their local polling place on Election Day. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HB2613, sponsored by Steve Montenegro (R-29), would ban all electronic voting equipment from primary use unless it meets Department of Defense cybersecurity standards, all pieces of it are made in the US, and the auditor general is given copies of the source codes. This type of equipment does not exist. Inspired by a baseless conspiracy theory about (get this) vote-flipping supercomputers. A coalition of federal cybersecurity and election officials have called the 2020 presidential election the “most secure in American history.” Duplicate bill SB1074, sponsored by Sonny Borrelli (R-30), has passed its House committee. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

HCR2033, sponsored by Austin Smith (R-29), would ask voters to enshrine our current direct primary system into the state Constitution. This would make it extremely difficult to ever institute meaningful reforms such as ranked-choice or top-two primary voting. If passed by both the House and Senate, this resolution would go directly to voters, without Gov. Hobbs having the chance to veto. Scheduled for Senate Elections Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.

Tuesday

SB1167, sponsored by Steve Kaiser (R-2), would tie length of unemployment relief to Arizona’s unemployment rate. This would disproportionately harm rural areas and people of color, who typically have higher rates of unemployment compared to the state average. Reducing weeks of assistance will force some people to accept jobs that do not match their skill sets and pay less than their prior earnings, which is bad for both workers and the economy. The sponsor did not consult an economist when writing the bill. Once again scheduled for House Commerce Committee, Tuesday (previously held). OPPOSE.

SB1188, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-13), would ban consumer fireworks from being used on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Last year, after sustained public outcry, lawmakers finally restricted consumer fireworks from being allowed overnight. Since lawmakers made fireworks legal, injuries have spiked, air quality has plummeted, and veterans and animals have suffered. Scheduled for House Commerce Committee, Tuesday. SUPPORT.

HB2003,sponsored by David Livingston (R-28), would slash corporate income taxes nearly in half by 2025, from their current 4.9% to 2.5%. Last year, Republican lawmakers slashed personal income taxes to 2.5% beginning this year, leaving experts concerned that Arizona won’t have enough revenue to sustain critical services once pandemic relief money runs out and the inevitable next recession arrives. Arizona’s tax giveaways already far outpace the entire state budget, and our unbalanced tax structure relies heavily on volatile sales taxes; Arizona is already one of just 11 states with a corporate income tax rate below 5%. Part of an overall package of tax cuts which would impact the state General Fund by billions of dollars. Once again scheduled for Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday (it was discussed only on 3/7). OPPOSE.

HB2338, sponsored by Amish Shah (D-5), would expand Arizona’s Medicaid system to include preventive dental care. This would help maintain overall health and wellness, and save money by helping people avoid serious dental problems. Research shows that gum disease (which is preventable with routine care) may play a role in the development of a number of other conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. Currently, adults on AHCCCS get only emergency dental care; exams, X-rays, cleanings and other preventive dentistry is not covered. Scheduled for Senate Health & Human Services Committee, Tuesday. SUPPORT.

HB2705, sponsored by Leo Biasiucci (R-30), would create an optional school safety training pilot program for district and charter schools, and appropriate $10 million from the general fund to run it. The legislation is intended to bring to Arizona the FASTER Saves Lives program, an “intensive training for school teachers and staff that qualifies them to carry concealed weapons in schools.” Besides that obvious concern, opponents point out that Arizona’s public schools already offer safety training each year. The only thing this training offers that current trainings don’t: concealed carry instruction. Scheduled for Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday. OPPOSE.

Wednesday

SB1026, sponsored by John Kavanagh (R-3), threatens school funding by prohibiting organizations that receive state tax dollars from hosting “drag shows” to entertain people under 18. Violators would lose state funds for 3 years. The definition of “drag show” in the bill is broad enough to include school plays (such as Shakespeare) or football players who dress up as cheerleaders for pep rallies. Identical bills have been introduced in several other states, prompting concerns of model legislation drafted by a hate group. The Legislature’s nonpartisan rules attorneys have told them the bill is unconstitutional. Part of a package of bills that would ostracize LGBTQ people, perpetuate false narratives, and marginalize or shutter dozens of businesses statewide. Scheduled for House Government Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1029,sponsored by Anthony Kern (R-27), would expand Arizona’s first-degree murder statutes to include deaths by fentanyl if the drug can be traced back to a specific individual. The bill’s broad language could subject friends or family of overdose victims to prosecution that includes penalties of life in prison or the death penalty. Cancer patients, for example, use fentanyl patches for pain management, and accidental overdoses by children have become common. Law enforcement should focus on high-risk offenders, expand rehabilitative programs, and work to reduce prison populations, rather than further criminalizing drug use. Part of a package of bills from Republican state lawmakers that would mandate stiffer sentences and punishment for drug enforcement. Scheduled for House Judiciary Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1095, sponsored by Frank Carroll (R-28), would require early ballot envelopes to include a written warning that ballots returned via drop box or mailed after the Friday before the election could cause delayed election results. County elections officials oppose the change on the grounds it would cause confusion: for years, voters have been advised to mail their ballots back by the Wednesday before the election. Ballots mailed from rural areas on Friday might not make it to the county recorder’s office by the deadline of 7 PM on Election Day. Once again scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday (discussed and held on 3/15). OPPOSE.

SB1139, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would require state retirement funds to evaluate their investments solely based on finances, in a crusade against “pro-abortion, pro-sex-ed” banks. This culture war against an imaginary problem carries real consequences for those who depend on Arizona’s retirement system. An ill-considered blanket mandate could leave half a million teachers, firefighters and government employees with retirement accounts that are unable to invest in most major companies, creating a minefield for investors and pension fund managers. Polling shows 70% of Republican voters oppose these mandates, believing companies should be able to use their own funds without government interference. Fossil fuel companies have admitted in public testimony that this type of legislation is all about protecting their own bottom lines. Scheduled for House Government Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1140, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would mandate that counties return to precinct-style voting. The voting center model has numerous benefits, including voter convenience, financial savings, and increased turnout. Lawmakers should be making it easier, not harder, for us to vote. Duplicate bill HB2304 never received a House floor vote. Scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1143, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would ban anyone except political parties and election officials from distributing early ballot or early voting request forms to voters. It would also ban the signature on a “non-official elections form” from being the sample signature used to check early ballots. Why shouldn’t regular people be able to help their neighbors register to vote the way they want to? Would this ban the checkbox to sign up for early voting at the DMV? Scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1144, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would ban “electronic vote adjudication,” or the process of resolving ballots that may include things like write-in votes, overvotes or marks in the margins. Currently the process is used sparingly, and there’s no good reason to say elections officials can’t use it. Scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1170, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would ban unmonitored drop boxes. These are accessible, convenient, reliable, secure, and hugely popular, yet some lawmakers continue to insist without evidence that they increase election fraud. Once again scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday (held last week). OPPOSE.

SB1197,sponsored by David Gowan (R-19), would ban juvenile courts from billing kids or their parents for detention, foster care, treatment and education programs, or health care while in detention. The time for this change is long past. These payments not only pose obstacles for young people already struggling to succeed, but run counter to the juvenile justice system’s mission to improve outcomes by helping kids learn from their mistakes. Studies show the misguided practice contributes to youth recidivism by forcing kids to stay in placement longer and hindering the ability to have a child’s record expunged. Third year for the bill. Scheduled for House Judiciary Committee, Wednesday. SUPPORT.

SB1255, sponsored by Anthony Kern (R-27), would restrict Arizona agencies from creating rules that would increase regulatory costs by more than $500,000 over 5 years after implementation. The Legislature would instead be required to enact legislation to ratify the proposed rule into law. Although the far right says it will "rein in unelected bureaucrats," this shortsighted measure would kneecap Hobbs and Mayes' ability to regulate unaccountable, wasteful spending. A prime example is Arizona's universal ESA voucher program; parents who use the program are complaining about the payment processor, ClassWallet, and a different vendor could cost easily that amount or more. In committee, the sponsor could not answer how many rules this would impact, but said "it shouldn't matter." Scheduled for House Government Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1471, sponsored by John Kavanagh (R-3), would set up a “man-versus-machine test” of whether humans are better or worse than machines at counting ballots. This would essentially serve as a hand-count audit, measuring accuracy as well as the time and resources required to implement hand counting statewide. Driven by a false belief that machine counting is inherently suspect and susceptible to fraud. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer is supporting the bill, saying it “will build confidence in our election system by showing that machine tabulation is highly accurate, free of bias, and fast.” Scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1500, sponsored by Frank Carroll (R-28), would require state retirement funds to evaluate their investments solely based on finances. Similar to other bills this session that crusade against “pro-abortion, pro-sex-ed” banks. This culture war against an imaginary problem could create real consequences for those who depend on Arizona’s retirement system. An ill-considered blanket mandate such as this could leave half a million teachers, municipal workers and other government employees with retirement accounts that are unable to invest in most major companies, and may create a minefield for investors and pension fund managers. Scheduled for House Government Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1595, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-13), would make voters present ID in order to drop off their early ballots after 7 PM on the Friday before election day. This would complicate voting for over 1 in 5 voters, resulting in more ballots being rejected. Arizona is a national leader in voting by mail, pioneering the program over 30 years ago. Only about half of Arizona counties even have the capability to tabulate ballots on-site at polling places on Election Day. Voters just refused in November to adopt new ID restrictions for early ballots. Scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1597, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-13), would require elections officials to tabulate early ballots on-site at polling places by no later than the next general election (November 2024). Only about half of Arizona counties even have the capability to tabulate ballots on-site at polling places on Election Day. The bill comes with no appropriation for the significant investments that would be required to make this bill reality. Scheduled for House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SB1698, sponsored by Justine Wadsack (R-17), adds drag shows to a state law about "dangerous crimes against children." The bill equates a drag show with an “adult-oriented performance” and makes it a crime on par with bestiality, child sex trafficking, second-degree murder, and sexual assault. A family viewing of “Mulan” or “Hairspray” would be a class 4 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a requirement that the adult register as a sex offender. One columnist calls the bill “flat-out bonkers.” The Legislature’s nonpartisan rules attorneys have told them the bill is unconstitutional. Scheduled for House Judiciary Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SCR1023, sponsored by Justine Wadsack (R-17), would ask voters to amend the state Constitution to repeal charter cities in Arizona. Currently larger cities can adopt a charter, which then supersedes any state law that conflicts with purely municipal affairs. State lawmakers have long hated charter cities, passing numerous laws that preempt city regulations on elections, firearms, immigration, smoking, plastic bag use, puppy mills, sugary drinks, water distribution, regulation of dark money, and so much more. The bill’s sponsor has said her intent is to get more Republicans elected to the Tucson City Council. Scheduled for House Government Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

SCR1034, sponsored by JD Mesnard (R-13), would ask voters to amend the state Constitution to automatically extend the previous year’s state budget if lawmakers don’t pass one in time. This would avoid the threat of a government shutdown if lawmakers couldn’t compromise in time, but would also remove the only real motivation for them to work together to do so. With our current divided government, this change would all but guarantee a stalemate on any spending outside the automatic budget, because there would be no incentive for Republican legislators to agree to any of the Democratic governor’s priorities — which in turn guarantees a state government that doesn‘t care for its citizens. Similar bill HCR2038, sponsored by David Livingston (R-28), never received a full House vote. Scheduled for House Appropriations Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

HB2094, sponsored by Kevin Payne (R-21), would relax regulations on food trucks. Payne, who owns a food truck, sponsored the same bill in 2019. Once again scheduled for Senate Government Committee, Wednesday (previously held). OPPOSE.

HB2108, sponsored by David Livingston (R-28), would force unemployment recipients to submit documentation of at least 5 work search actions each week. If someone refuses a “suitable” job offer or fails to appear for a scheduled interview, the prospective employer would be required to report them to DES. The punitive bill leaves no room for correcting misinformation, instead carrying automatic criminal penalties. At a weekly maximum of just $320, Arizona ranks in the bottom 5 nationally for unemployment benefits. Currently people must lose their job through no fault of their own or a compelling personal reason in order to be eligible for unemployment. Scheduled for Senate Commerce Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

HB2523, sponsored by Barbara Parker (R-10), would require every K-12 student at a public or charter school to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. Waivers would only be available for students over 18 or at parental request. In 1943, the US Supreme Court ruled that no school or government can compel someone to recite the Pledge because forcing them violates the First Amendment. Scheduled for Senate Education Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

HB2539,sponsored by Beverly Pingerelli (R-28), would force the State Board of Education to implement a “public awareness program” to prop up school choice in Arizona, including free publicity for taxpayer-funded ESA vouchers. If someone moves to Arizona and registers a car here, the information would be delivered to them along with their registration. The bill would spend $600,000 and create four full-time positions to handle this work. Scheduled for Senate Education Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

HB2786, sponsored by Justin Heap (R-10), would require school boards to notify parents of recommended or funded "training opportunities" for teachers or school administrators. The new Horne administration believes that social-emotional learning, diversity and equity are Trojan horses for "critical race theory," and has canceled planned teacher presentations on these and other "non-academic" subjects, even though they deeply affect kids' lives and ability to learn. This bill is deeply disappointing; students are not political footballs. Scheduled for Senate Education Committee, Wednesday. OPPOSE.

Thursday

HB2544, sponsored by Lupe Diaz (R-19), would exempt firearms or ammo that are "modified" in Arizona from federal regulation. These “modifications” could be cosmetic or functional, making this a giant loophole to exempt guns from safety provisions. On February 27, the Legislature’s nonpartisan rules attorneys told them the bill is likely unconstitutional. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE.

HB2667, sponsored by Rachel Jones (R-17), is a duplicate of a bill from last year that would prohibit universities and community colleges from banning anyone with a concealed weapons permit — not just students — from possessing, storing, or transporting guns on campus. College campuses and guns are a deadly combination, increasing the risks of suicide, homicide and sexual assault. Even our founding fathers believed guns had no place on college campuses. Getting a concealed-weapons permit in Arizona is ridiculously easy. Duplicate bill SB1300, sponsored by Wendy Rogers (R-7), is assigned to House Judiciary. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE. HB2757, sponsored by Ben Toma (R-27), would expand retention elections for appeals court judges to be statewide, rather than countywide. This is a transparent attempt to keep appellate judges from being unseated by allowing people to vote out of district for judges who don't represent them, diluting the votes. Appellate judges represent certain areas, and they're chosen that way. It's not representative democracy if people in Yuma are voting for someone who represents Flagstaff. CEBV Gavel Watch unseated 3 judges in November 2022. Scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday. OPPOSE.

DO THIS.... Use Request to Speak. Our elected officials need to know what we think!

Use our website. Civic Engagement Beyond Voting’s website features tons of resources, including a RTS training video that’s 5 minutes well spent.

Attend our Happy Hours. Our guests for this week’s Zoom RTS Happy Hour are Michigan state lawmakers Rosemary Bayer and Laurie Pohutsky, along with CEBV volunteer Nelson Morgan. As always, we’ll also have legislative info and Q&A with Melinda. We’ll meet every Sunday at 4 PM through the end of session; sign up in advance here.

Follow our social media. Our most timely updates are posted on Twitter.

The original Taqueria Outlaw!



Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page