Week #12: 55th Legislature, 1st Session
It was a strange week, with several very contentious bills on the floor in both the Senate and the House, but no committee meetings other than Appropriations and Rules. Generally, everything sails through Rules, but Chair Becky Nutt held Christine’s fentanyl strip bill off a long rules agenda in the House, and there it sits.
There’s a video clip of Kelli on her FB page, describing her opposition to an extreme anti-choice bill, SB1457 on the House floor, and there’s a new post on Christine’s page, summarizing, again, the worst of the voter suppression bills. SB1457 was transmitted back to the Senate Thursday after an amended version passed party-line in the House. Christine thought it might be on the COW calendar in the Senate on Monday but it’s not listed as of right now.
March 30, 2021: House Appropriations - Charles Lucking
Cobb - no mask
SB1024 - Enduring Freedom Memorial to add names
$21k to repair/add names
SB1064 - earned release/credit/prisoners - prisoners can earn credits for early release and JLBC to create detailed report on cost-savings. “DOC needs to be included so that they have the resources they need to implement these programs” - Friese’
This is the model legislation for the country - first of its kind in any state
Arizona is one of only 3 states that does not allow people out of jail without serving 85% of their sentence.
Pass: 11 ayes, 1 nay (Kavanagh)
SB1121 - requirements for MJ labeling and packaging for tracking from cultivation to sale & testing- Amendment (Friese) makes changes to requirements for labeling. Copperstate farms - “a solution in search of a problem” - all requirements are in the law already.
Pass: 11 ayes, 2 nays (Chavez and Osborne, a no because no warning for pregnancy)
SB1126 - $160k on a survey on cognitive decline/behavioral risk factors
SB1142 - employment/income tax credit for seriously ill, mentally ill unemployed with limits and caps. No sunset. Barto: This bill invites private sector into the solution. $1 million going to employers
Fernandez: No - infrastructure has not been considered
Friese: No - this should be set up as a grant program instead of a tax credit with no sunset
Schweibert: No sunset, I’m a no
Pass: 9 ayes, 4 nays
SB1181 - training for doulas/certifications - this creates a framework for certification so that doulas are more standardized and they can charge to access/insurance
Pass: 11 ayes, 1 nay (Cobb)
SB1279 - students/data/accessibility - privacy/PII requirements for schools, creates a secure data repository under FIRPA for medical records & addresses security - this adds access points to medical data repositories.
Pass: 12 ayes, 1 nay (Fernandez)
SB1384 - state park heritage fund from the lottery funds- $1m in 22, $2 in 23, $3m in 24. Amendment increases each year by $2m
Pass: 12 ayes, 1 nay (Hoffman)
SB1405 - $5m from general fund for construction on I-10. Total project is $120m. Phase 2 has $50-60m.
Fernandez: This is pork, monies should be given to ADOT, this is their job - no
Kavanaugh - nay
Hoffman - no
Lieberman - no. this does not seem to be a project that would stimulate further
Schweibert - we need to stop sweeping HURF funds and fund ADOT, votes yes
Cobb - we haven’t swept HURF funds in 10 years, votes no
Pass: 8 ayes, 5 nays
SB1411 - unemployment insurance increases and maximum taxable wage increase, benefits, duration, addresses fraud. Unemployment benefits haven’t been raised in 17 years, we’re 2nd lowest in the nation. This would take us from 2nd lowest to middle of the pack for the nation.
Pass: 10 ayes, 3 nays (Hoffman, Osborne and Cobb)
SB1440: $65m in 2022 Corrections: Financing, defeasance, retirement
$17m per year of gf money. Payoff on private prisons. Kingman jail prison - this is so we don’t have to pay a prepayment penalty. This is a state of Arizona bond
Fernandez is no
Hoffman is yes
Lieberman - this does not support private prisons - yes
Osborne: no - this is not the best use of money
Pass: 9 ayes, 4 nays
SB1441 - same as 1440 but this is a school bond: payoff debt - paying $171m in school facilities boards
Pass: 7 ayes, 6 nayS
SB1467 - elected officials retirement plan
Increases state contribution to fund. No more officials allowed in the fund. Currently 457 active members.
Pass: 8 ayes, 4 nays
SB1468 - $300m in DPS/Pension liability state is liable for all these monies - this money goes directly into the pension for DPS
Pass: 7 ayes, 5 nays
SB1500 - establishes elderly assistance fund and appropriates 4.6 million for the fund
Pass: 11 ayes, 1 no (Cobb)
SB1652: $1million to AG for anti-voter-fraud and anti-trust litigation for 1 year. Funds were not requested by AG.
Kavanaugh: HR 1 is a huge threat to AZ voter integrity
Osborne: CHANGES TO YES
Pass: 8 ayes, 5 nays
SB1760 - AZ seriously mentally ill hospital admission/governance - $500k for surveillance, removes requirement that gov’t appointees be confirmed by senate, strikes legislative intent clause, establishes council for 2 years & powers and duties. Amendment puts the cap back (mainly in response to the lawsuit) - where are the cameras and audio going to be installed?
Barto: Multitude of stakeholder meetings. There is a waiting list for the beds. Ash is the only hospital that dangerous mentally ill patients can go for treatment. There is a reporting requirement. Patients can be extremely violent. Bill makes sure for better accountability, the Governing body basically regulates itself. $73 million spent annually with no oversight. Lifting cap for 55 beds.
Lieberman: Yes but confused
Pass: 8 ayes, 5 nays
Second Special Committee On Appropriations
SB1034 - assisted living - fees paid to referral agencies & disclosures
SB1116 - governor appoints a director & creates a dashboard for state permitting public projects. $500k from general fund to develop
Pass: 9 ayes, 4 nays (Fernandez, Schweibert, Cobb, Friese)
SB1397 - conforms AZ tax statutes with IRS code re CARES act - makes CARES act $ non-taxable
SB1529 - requires county jails to offer education programs for those without high school diplomas and appropriates $114k for the programs.