Action Alert - Legislative Update - March 16, 2014
Down at the Arizona Capitol, the session is progressing quickly and we’re approaching the deadline for bills to be heard in committees. There’s still action to take on some very important bills, so please have a look at how you can help defend Arizona’s taxpayers, school children and small businesses this week!
TOP FIVE ACTION STEPS:
1) SB 1355, sponsored by Senator Gail Griffin, would protect public employees’ paychecks by preventing their union dues from going to political activity without their biannual permission.
This important effort to ensure workers are not forced to fund political agendas they don’t agree with was approved by the Committee of the Whole and should be going to the floor anytime now.
Please click HERE to ask your senator to support this legislation!
2) HB 2260, sponsored by Representative Tom Forese, passed both the Senate Government and Environment and Senate Appropriations Committees this past week (by unanimous votes).
This legislation, a project of our allies at NFIB-Arizona, would institute a Small Business Bill of Rights at government regulatory agencies and require them to inform business owners dealing with the agencies that they have these rights.
This simple, but important, reform would provide significant protection from small business owners who deserve to be protected from overbearing government power. Please click HERE to let your senator know you expect him or her to vote for this bill when it comes to the floor!
3) SB 1413, sponsored by Senator Steve Yarbrough and supported by Governor Jan Brewer, would align Arizona with many other States that do not impose sales taxes on the energy consumed by manufacturers.
This broad-based tax relief would encourage Arizona businesses to remain in-state and draw in additional job creators from outside our borders who are looking for a more hospitable environment to grow their businesses.
SB 1413 will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday at 2pm, so please click HERE to ask members of the committee to strongly support and click HERE to encourage your legislators to support economic growth by voting yes when it comes to the floor!
4) HB 2291 and SB 1236, sponsored by Representative Debbie Lesko and Senator Kimberly Yee respectively, would greatly expand the eligibility pool for Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts-thus allowing many more Arizona families to make their children’s educational experiences as individualized as possible, and enable our children to be educated in schools that meet their needs.
Both of these bills need your support to pass their respective floor votes SOON!
5) HB 2367, sponsored by Speaker Andy Tobin, will be heard by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this Wednesday. This legislation would enact sensible Medicaid reforms that would prevent able-bodied adults from remaining in an overloaded and broken federal healthcare system for too long.
With future Medicaid funding in jeopardy, it’s very important for Arizona to manage this program carefully and to do everything we can to minimize the wasting of your tax dollars.
A New Chance to Protect Innovative New Businesses
There’s going to be a new way for you to help protect Arizona businesses from special interests and government. If you haven’t heard of Uber or Lyft, they are innovative new types of transportation services-and entrenched interests like the cab companies (and their friends in government) don’t like it! Please stay tuned and check out our website soon for ways you can prevent government from crushing these great job creators.
And there’s more…
But those aren’t the only bills of importance to grassroots citizen lobbyists. Please click HERE to go to AFP-Arizona’s action center and see all the different issues you can take action on!
And here’s a further recap of the action that was taken on our priority bills this past week:
- HB 2058, sponsored by Representative John Kavanagh, would prevent “pension spiking” by those enrolled in the Arizona State Retirement System, Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, and Corrections Officer Retirement System.
This bill is being heard by the Senate Finance Committee this Wednesday at 2pm. Please click HERE to tell the committee members you want them to strongly support the bill, and click HERE to encourage your senator to do the same on the floor!
- HB 2150, sponsored by Representative Sonny Borrelli (and others), passed from the Senate Education Committee on Thursday by a 5-1 (with three not voting) vote, and should be headed to the floor soon.
It would expand the eligibility for Empowerment Savings Accounts to include the children of armed service members killed in the line of duty. This legislation would allow the children of our American heroes to receive the proper education they deserve – and the educations their parents would have wanted to provide for them.
Please click HERE to let your senator know how important this vote is!
- HB 2328, sponsored by Representative David Livingston, was referred to the Senate Education Committee last week.
Representative Livingston’s legislation would remove the requirement that students who receive a scholarship or tuition grant from a student tuition organization (STO) be attending a specified school or be the dependent of an armed service member stationed in Arizona.
Please click HERE and let the members of the committee know how important this legislation is and click HERE to ask your senator to enable more children to get a quality education by supporting this bill!
- HB 2377, sponsored by Representative Justin Olson, would protect Arizonans from falling victim to a hidden “inflation tax.” Arizona is one of a few States that does not index its tax brackets for inflation, meaning you could be pushed into a higher tax bracket simply by receiving cost-of-living wage adjustment.
This bill will be heard on Wednesday March 19th in the Senate Finance Committee. Stopping this hidden tax is very important, so please click HERE to let the committee members know you’re watching the vote and click HERE to tell your senator the same thing!
- HB 2465, sponsored by Representative J.D. Mesnard, unfortunately failed to pass on reconsideration (its second Third Reading) by a close 29-29 vote (with two not voting) in the House.
This bill would have ensured that any additional revenue Arizona receives from imposition of the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act would be used to cut taxes for Arizonans, rather than fund additional spending.
Please send Representative Mesnard an email at email@example.com to thank him for his hard work on behalf of Arizona taxpayers!
- HB 2508, sponsored by Representative Phil Lovas, is one of the most important bills down at the Capitol this session and it has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Representative Lovas’ bill would ensure that those seeking to become ObamaCare “navigators” undergo criminal background checks in an effort to keep Arizonans using www.healthcare.gov from giving access to personal health and financial information to criminals and con artists.
- HB 2614, the Truth-in-Spending reform sponsored by Representative Steve Smith, has been one of AFP-Arizona’s biggest priorities for several years. Unfortunately it failed to pass on reconsideration by the House by a slim 30-28 vote – it was one vote away from passing.
This bill would have mandated that legislators inform their constituents when they plan to increase their spending taxpayer dollars faster than the rate of growth of the economy. It would have been a crucial “speed bump” on future spending and a big step towards budget transparency.
It is unfortunate that several Republicans failed to support this legislation, but please thank Representative Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org for his hard work, and click HERE to see who else stood for budget transparency – be sure to show them the love, too!
- HCR 2005, sponsored by Representative Phil Lovas and known as the Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act, would allow voters the choice on the 2014 ballot to provide drug manufacturers the right to provide terminal patients with safe investigational drugs. This live-saving legislation passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in a unanimous bipartisan vote!
Click HERE to ask your senators to support this bill on the floor!
- HCR 2022, sponsored by Representative J.D. Mesnard, would allow voters to prohibit the Legislature from levying a property tax on the first $2.4 million of full cash value — saving money for property owners and limiting government’s taxing power. This legislation will be heard by the Senate Finance Committee this Wednesday at 2pm.
- SB 1395, sponsored by Senator Judy Burges, would allow district school boards and charter boards to opt out of Common Core (aka the “Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards”) as long as they create standards that meet or exceed the Common Core standards.
This bill also passed COW this week, so please click HERE to encourage your senator to support it on the floor!
Please Sign Up For www.AZVoices.gov -and Make Your Voice Heard!!
We’ve had a good response by activists who signed up on www.AZVoices.gov to register their opinions on the important issues facing Arizona. This website, created by Senator Bob Worsley and Secretary of State Ken Bennett, is a great way for citizen lobbyists such as yourself to become even more actively involved in the political process.
Not only that, but Senator Worsley and other legislators are relying heavily on this website to give them a look at where the public stands on hundreds of issues. So please make sure to politely let your legislators know you want them to support AFP-Arizona’s priority agenda by using this great tool!
Help us keep up the fight!
AFP-Arizona needs to continue mobilizing activists to win victories for free-market policies. You can help us do that by donating $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or any amount you can to ensure that we are able to continue our work. To support AFP-Arizona’s grassroots efforts, you can click HERE to go to our website and click the “Donate” button at the top of the page (just make sure to designate the contribution to Arizona!).
If you’d like to engage on the rest of AFP-Arizona’s priority agenda, please go to our main ACTION PAGE to learn how you can help on all the individual issues we are working on.
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