Take Action: Week of March 12, 2017

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

State Action

With two weeks to go for House committees to hear bills from the Senate and Senate committees to hear bills from the House, we have work to do!

Universal vouchers bill is back!

• SB1431, phasing in universal ESAs – or vouchers – over four years, is rumored to have the Republican votes needed to pass in the Senate. Sen. Kate Brophy McGee is opposed and voted against SB1431 in the Senate Education Committee but claimed during her campaign against Dr. Eric Meyer that as a Republican, she could “get things done.” So, call her at (602) 926-4486 and tell her you expect her to ensure the defeat of ANY voucher expansion bills.

URGENT!!! Urge Senators to vote NO on bills repealing and weakening vital boards and commissions:

• HB2205 eliminating the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission is up for final votes in the Senate this week. It passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last week and is scheduled for Senate Rules Monday, March 13. Call Sen. Kate Brophy McGee at (602) 926-4486 and urge her to vote NO on HB2205! The Commission’s mission is to “identify and support innovative biomedical research to improve the health of all Arizonans.” Learn more here: http://azdhs.gov/biomedical/

• HB2369, repealing a number of commissions, committees and boards, including the Arizona State Parks Board, was assigned to the Senate Government Committee but is not on this week’s agenda.

Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) bills advancing:

• SB1367, the “Live Birth” anti-abortion bill, will be heard Wednesday in the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Use RTS to oppose, and call Committee member, Rep. Maria Syms, at (602) 926-4860, to tell her to vote NO. If a fetus shows signs of life, SB1367 requires medical personnel to make every effort to continue its life, even though the bill seemingly takes away the rights of parents to hold newborns in their arms when there is no chance of survival.

• SB1439, the “Right to Die” bill, passed the House JPS Committee last week, with Rep. Maria Syms voting YES; call her at (602) 926-4860 to urge her to vote NO on SB1439 on the House floor. SB1439 gives medical personnel the right to try to keep a person alive, even against a person’s wishes. The bill is on Monday’s House Rules Committee agenda.

Restrictions advancing on constitutionally guaranteed citizen initiative process, now assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee:

• HB2404 is on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda Thursday, March 19. Use RTS to oppose! HB2404 adds unreasonable requirements to the initiative process, including how paid circulators are reimbursed.

• HCR2029 requires certain percentage of petition signatures to be gathered from each legislative district in order to qualify an initiative for the ballot. Not yet on committee’s agenda.

• HB2320 requires ballot disclaimer to discourage passage of ballot proposal. Not yet on committee’s agenda.

• HCR2002 repeals the Voter Protection Act for initiatives passed by citizens, and HCR2007 repeals Voter Protection Act, but only for citizen initiatives, not initiatives referred to the ballot by the Legislature. The VPA protects laws passed by voters from repeal by the Legislature. The House resolutions are not yet on committee’s agenda.

House Speaker Mesnard’s Article V Convention bills advancing:

• HCR2013 passed the Senate Government Committee and HB2226 passed Senate Appropriations last week and both are on scheduled on Monday’s Senate Rules Committee agenda. Each calls for an Article V convention in order to require the federal government to run a balanced budget. Call Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (602) 926-4486 and urge her to vote NO on all Article V Convention bills and resolutions.

Anti-local control bills advancing:

• HB2287, gutting Shannon’s Law, and HB2022, allowing use of a .22 loaded with rat or snake shot within city limits, passed the Senate Government Committee and await action in Senate Rules before going to the Senate Floor for final votes. Call Sen. Kate Brophy McGee at (602) 926-4486 and urge her to vote NO on both bills.

• HB2086, prohibiting municipal ID programs, passed the Senate Government Committee and awaits action in Senate Rules before going to the Senate floor for a final vote.

And, a bad water bill is advancing:

• SB1412 passed the Senate and will be heard in the Land, AGricultrual and Rural Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 16. Use RTS to oppose SB1412, which affects water rights and is opposed by 21 tribal nations.

Your voice matters at our state capitol! If a bill is on a committee agenda, use Request to Speak to register your support or opposition: https://apps.azleg.gov/RequestToSpeak/UpcomingAgendas (And check out our RTS help page)

If a bill is on a floor agenda in the House or Senate for discussion in COW (Committee of the Whole), or 3rd read (roll-call vote), call your representatives or senator to voice your opinion: http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/

Federal Action

Contact Senators McCain and Flake:

McCAIN MONDAYS - EVERY MONDAY: Stand on the sidewalk along Camelback Rd., near the SE corner of 22nd St. and Camelback, outside Sen. John McCain’s office, from noon- 1pm. Bring signs and bring letters to drop at Sen. McCain’s office. Park off-site.

FLAKE FRIDAYS - EVERY FRIDAY: Stand on the sidewalk along Camelback Rd., near the NE corner of 22nd St. and Camelback, outside Sen. Jeff Flake’s office, from noon-1pm. Bring signs and bring letters to leave at Sen. Flake’s office. Park off-site.

Call the senators’ offices to register your concerns about the possible repeal of the ACA and to encourage our Senators to stand up to Donald Trump. Sen. John McCain: (202) 224-2235 or (602) 952-2410 Sen. Jeff Flake: (202) 224-4521 or (602) 840-1891

The Ides of Trump:
On March 15th, mail a postcard or five to the President. Tell him what you think of him - send to:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington DC 20050