It’s been a busy couple of weeks at the Legislature, so let’s have a look at all of the comings and goings.
First, on Wednesday after another school shooting our Democratic caucus members Rep. Engle, Rep. Epstein, and Sen. Bedford strongly urged the legislature to stop playing partisan games with gun violence and to take real steps to prevent school shootings from taking place in Arizona. Rep. Engle and Rep. Epstein read a letter that called on Governor Ducey to form a Task Force on the Prevention of Potential School Violence. Additionally, the Democratic caucus urged Republicans to join them by signing on to the letter. The letter was sent to Gov. Ducey yesterday and will be released to the press later this week.
In the Senate Sen. Bedford gave a moving speech on the Senate floor urging for the legislature to act to prevent further gun violence. Sen. Bedford has introduced SB1348 which would prohibit the sale of bump-fire devices or any accessory that would accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle. This just one of the many firearms bills that the Democratic caucus has introduced to protect our children and communities. Yet, due to a Republican-run legislature, true reform and leadership is stifled once again.
Below is a short list of the bills introduced by Democrats this session on gun control, none of these bills have had a hearing this session.
- Sponsor Sen. Mendez, SB1428: misconduct involving weapons; firearm storage
- Sponsor Rep. Friese HB2024: firearm sales; transfers; background checks
- Sponsor Rep. Friese HB2023: prohibited weapon; bump-fire device; accessory
- Sponsor Sen. Hobbs, SCR2015: firearm sales; transfers; background checks
- Sponsor Sen. Bedford, SB1348: prohibited weapon; bump-fire device; accessory
- Sponsor Sen. Hobbs, SB1347: mental health; injunction; firearm possession
Now onto bills that Democrats have been able to pass out of committee hearings and a few that have also passed the House or Senate floor.
Rep. Andrade has passed a slate bills that will honor, protect, and improve the lives of Veterans in Arizona. HB2420 hires more benefits counselors at the Dept. Veteran Affairs. HB2419 authorizes ADOA to provide for the placement of a memorial commemorating the Buffalo Soldiers in Wesley Bolin Plaza, it also stipulates that the cost to build the memorial is the responsibility of the proponents of this bill. HB2421 extends absence from employment protections to National Guard members. HB2475 appropriates $1,446,000 from the state general fund in the fiscal year 2018-2019 to the department of emergency and military affairs for tuition and fees for Arizona national guard members
Sen. Bedford has introduced SB1092 which has passed committee in the Senate. SB1092 “Extends by six months the statute of limitations and the time to file a notice of claim in certain medical malpractice cases.” – Arizona State Senate, Fact Sheet
Rep. Bolding has introduced HB2071 which passed the House floor last week. This bill requires that children under the age of two must be in a rear-facing car seat unless child weighs at least 40 pounds or is 40 inches tall. Additionally, Rep. Bolding introduced HB2575 allows homeless veterans to apply for ID’s if they do not have a permanent residence or if their address is a shelter. This bill passed a House committee last week.
Rep. Bowie has introduced SB1296 & SB1139 which have both passed committees in the Senate. SB1296 makes emergency communications more accessible to the disability community. SB1139 Prohibits a minor under the age of 16 from getting married and allows a person who is 16 or 17 to marry only if first emancipated.
Sen. Bradley has introduced SB1138, which requires all counties jails to provide an education program for anyone under the age of 21, who does not have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. This bill has passed a Senate committee.
Rep. Cardenas has introduced HB2440 and HB2001 which have both passed House committees. HB2440 “would exempt veterans with a disability rating of 40% or higher resulting from a lower limb amputation from paying the Vehicle License Tax” – Arizona House, Fact Sheet. HB2001 specifies the sole purpose of the Indigent Defense Fund is to provide state aid to the county public defender in criminal cases. And requires the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission to distribute monies each fiscal year to the Indigent Defense Fund.
Rep. Chavez introduced HCM 2001 which urges Congress to renegotiate NAFTA. The bill has passed two committees and is waiting to be voted on in the House with an amendment.
Sen. Dalessandro has introduced the Nogales wastewater fairness act, SCM1012 has passed out of committee. This bill “Urges the United States Congress to enact the Nogales Wastewater Fairness Act (NWFA) and move towards reaching a comprehensive solution to ongoing border sewage complications.” – From the Arizona State Senate fact sheet.
Rep. Descheenie has introduced HB2481, which increases the amount of Transaction Privilege Tax that can be distributed to additional technical universities located on Indian reservations in the fiscal year 2019 through 2025. This bill has passed the House appropriations committee and heads to the Rules committee.
Rep. Espinoza has introduced HCM2003, which urges Congress to provide medical treatment for deported veterans who honorably served the United States. This bill passed the Military, Veterans, and Regulatory Affairs Committee early in the session but had not proceeded forward in the House.
Rep. Engle has introduced HB2373, which passed committee last week. This bill requires school districts and charter schools to establish a classroom teacher supply assistance account.
Sen. Farley has introduced SB1261 and SB1279 which have passed out of committee. SB1261 prohibits the use of cellphones while driving. SB1279 requires a motorcycle driver to have a drivers license or endorsement to register a motorcycle.
Rep. Fernandez has introduced HB2374 which provides additional funding to the Arizona Department of Education to administer teacher certifications, so that teachers may be placed in classroom faster. This bill passed the House appropriations committee yesterday.
Rep. Friese has introduced HB2027, which “Allows ADOT to issue alternative fuel vehicle stickers to vehicle owners with the veteran special plates if eligible so they may receive the benefits of both.” – Arizona House, Fact Sheet. This bill has passed the House!
Rep. Hernandez has introduced HCM2002 which urges Congress to increase custom personnel. The bill has passed the House Local and International Affairs committee and the Rules committee and is now waiting to be voted on by the House in Committee of the Whole (COW).
Sen. Peshlakai has passed SB1238 and SB1239 out of committee. SB1238 “Appropriates $1,500,000 from the state General Fund in Fiscal Year 2019 to the Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations (GOTR) for distribution to Diné College for remedial education.” – Arizona Senate, Fact Sheet. SB1239 “Appropriates $2,200,000 from the state General Fund in Fiscal Year 2019 to the Arizona Department of Veteran’s Services for officers to serve rural tribal nations.” – Arizona Senate, Fact Sheet
Sen. Quezada has introduced SB1096 which “requires the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency (ABEC) to determine the length of parole for persons serving a life sentence for an offense committed as a minor.” – Arizona Senate, Fact Sheet This bill has passed Senate committee.
Rep. Salman introduced HB2222, which passed committee in the House. HB2222 would have provided an unlimited number of feminine hygiene products for female inmates.
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