Take Action: Week of February 13, 2017

Stay informed on what's happening at the local, state, and federal level and take action on these important matters. 

Federal Update

  • Tell Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to do their jobs!  It’s not just the courts we’re counting on to “check and balance” the Trump administration. We heard from a staff member at Flake’s office on Friday that the number of phone calls have dropped off.  So, join #McCainMondays and #FlakeFridays at 12 noon outside their offices on the corner of 22nd St. and Camelback and/or call them! 
  • Yes, DeVos, Sessions and Price were confirmed, but the Democrats are working hard to slow down the process and it’s up to us to keep the pressure on our two senators.   Go to the ACLU for updates on who’s next up for a vote and make your phone calls: https://www.aclu.org/feature/trump-transition-watch
  • Repealing the ACA will cost 700,000 Arizonans their healthcare, 62,000 Arizonans their jobs and have a $5 billion negative impact on the state’s economy, according to a study just released by Children’s Action Alliance.
  • Ask each to tell you when he will hold his next Town Hall meeting.  Congress will be on recess between Feb. 20-24 and this will be the time to try to see them in person.  Stay tuned for opportunities!  Sen. McCain’s last meeting was in 2014! 

State Update

There are terrible bills moving through the State Legislature. This is the last week bills can be heard in the house of origin, so all committees have long agendas. Work to defeat the following bills! 

If it is up for a hearing, and you are signed up for Request to Speak, register your opposition now:  https://apps.azleg.gov/RequestToSpeak/UpcomingAgendas

If a bill is up for third read on the floor of the Senate or House (in COW, or Committee of the Whole), call your senator and representatives and ask them to vote NO!  http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/ 

  • HB2394, expanding Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, or vouchers, taking money from the General  Fund to support tuition at private and religious schools, will be heard in the House Education Committee  on Monday, Feb. 13 at 2 pm.  
  • HB2465, revising and expanding eligibility for ESAs, will also be heard in the House Education Committee on Monday, Feb. 13 at 2 pm.  Use RTS to oppose.   
  • HCR2006 would put Arizona on record in favor of an Article V convention to rewrite parts of the U.S. Constitution.  It passed the House Federalism, Property Rights and Public Policy Committee on a partisan 6-3 vote and is scheduled for House Rules Monday, Feb. 13 at 12:45 pm.  Use RTS to oppose and call Rep. Maria Syms at (602) 926-4860, asking her to oppose HCR2006. 
  • HB2369, repealing a number of commissions, committees and boards, including the Arizona State Parks Board, passed the House Government Committee last week and is scheduled for House Rules Monday, Feb. 13 at 12:45 pm.  Use RTS to oppose.  Stay tuned.  If it reaches the House floor this week, calls to Rep. Maria Syms at (602) 926-4860 asking her to vote NO on HB2369 will be critical. 
  • SB1431, phasing in universal ESAs over four years, and a companion bill, SB1281, which would lower oversight and accountability, both passed the Senate Education Committee on 4-3 votes, with Bradley, Miranda and Brophy McGee in opposition.  They are not listed on Monday’s Senate Rules Committee agenda, but they could be added, and floor votes could be scheduled later this week.  Use RTS to oppose both SB1431 and SB1281.  Call Brophy Mcgee at (602) 926-4486 and thank her for voting NO in committee and ask her to vote NO on the floor. 
  • Anti-deseg funding bill, SB1174, was passed by Senate Appropriations on Jan. 31 on a partisan 6-4 vote.  There is no vote listed for Rules but we know it is expected to reach the Senate floor this week.  If enacted, the bill requires districts to go to voters for a special override in order to continue the funding.  Glendale Union could lose $6 million, PUHSD, $53 million, Scottsdale Unified, $7 million and Washington, $6 million.  Use Request to Speak to oppose SB1174 and/or call Sen. Kate Brophy McGee at (602) 926-4486, and ask her to vote NO! 
  • HCR2004, the resolution that would defund Clean Elections will be heard this Wednesday, Feb. 15 in House Appropriations at 2 pm.  It was held last week.  Use RTS to register your opposition.   
  • HB2022 which would allow shooting a .22 within city limits, using rat or snake shot, passed the House on a partisan 35-25 vote on Feb. 1 and was transmitted to the Senate.  It is not yet on an agenda in the Senate.  Call Sen. Kate Brophy McGee at (602) 926-4486, and ask her to vote NO on HB2022.  
  • Another gun bill, HB2287, would allow celebratory shooting in the air if there is no intent to harm someone, thereby gutting Shannon’s Law.  After passing the House Government Committee on a 5-4 vote, with Engel, Gonzalez, Hernandez and Syms opposed, it passed Rules 9-0 and 3rd Read in the House last Wednesday on a 32-26 vote.  It was transmitted to the Senate but has not yet been scheduled on an agenda. (Shannon was killed in 1999 in Phoenix when she was hit by a stray bullet while standing in her backyard.)