Action Alert – Legislative Update – March 23, 2014
AZ ACTION ALERT – Sunday, March 23
One of the last big milestones of the 2014 legislative session occurred this week, as the deadline for bills to be heard in committee came and went. Many of AFP-Arizona’s biggest priorities are moving along nicely and should be seeing floor votes soon.
And then, of course, there will be the budget – more about that below…
TOP FIVE ACTION STEPS:
1) HB 2262 (as amended), sponsored by Representative Tom Forese, would provide a proper and fair regulatory structure for transportation network companies (aka “ridesharing companies”) and prevent government interference from crippling these innovative job creators with regulations that do not fit their business model.
It’s not often that we get the chance to immediately affect the fortunes of an entire industry, but ensuring government doesn’t regulate rideshare companies out of Arizona is a great opportunity! This bill passed through the Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee on Wednesday by a 4-1 vote.
Please thank Senators Al Melvin, Leah Landrum-Taylor, Bob Worsley, and Robert Meza for standing up for Arizona job creators! (Senator John McComish voted No, and Senators Ed Ableser and Michele Reagan did not vote.)
Also, please click HERE to ask your senator and representatives to support this legislation when it gets to a floor vote!
2) HB 2508, sponsored by Representative Phil Lovas, would attempt to ensure that people applying to be ObamaCare “navigators” would be properly vetted, including requiring them to pass a criminal background check.
Arizonans deserve to know these navigators, who will have access to people’s private information and dispense health insurance advice, are not criminals or cheats who will take advantage of trusting health care consumers.
This bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, with Democratic Senators Katie Hobbs and David Bradley joining Republicans Nancy Barto, Kelli Ward, Judy Burges, and Kimberly Yee in support.
Please thank these senators for their support and then click HERE to tell your senator how important this issue is!
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.
The bill passed from the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday by a unanimous vote (with Representative Adam Kwasman absent). Please thank Representatives Debbie Lesko, Mark Cardenas, Juan Escamilla, J.D. Mesnard, Justin Olson, Warren Petersen, and Bruce Wheeler for their support!
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.
Please HERE to encourage your legislators to support economic growth by voting Yes when it comes to the floor!
4) HB 2260, sponsored by Representative Tom Forese, is a project of our allies at NFIB-Arizona, and 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!
5) 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 or salary increase.
This bill was passed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday by a vote of 7-0 (with Democratic Senators Olivia Cajero-Bedford, Robert Meza, and Steve Farley joining Republicans Steve Yarbrough, Michele Reagan, David Farnsworth, and Bob Worsley) and should be headed to the floor soon.
Please click HERE to tell your senator how important this reform is to hardworking Arizona taxpayers!
And Then There Was the Budget…
This week also saw the Senate Republicans produce a budget. AFP-Arizona supports their proposal to cut $33 million from district schools that are pretending to be charter schools and trying to double-dip from state and local taxpayers.
At $9.13 billion, the proposed Senate budget stays fairly close to the JLBC baseline of $9.036 billion, which may be a sustainable spending level. We have it on good authority that this budget will largely be accepted by the Governor and we believe it will soon make its way through the House-where we will be making sure House Republicans keep taxpayer interests in mind!
And there’s more…
If you would 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.
And here is a further recap of the action taken on our priority bills this past week:
- HB 2058, sponsored by Representative John Kavanagh, was passed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday by a party-line vote of 4-3 and should be coming for a final floor vote soon.
This bill would prevent pension spiking by those enrolled in the Arizona State Retirement System, Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, and Corrections Officer Retirement System. Pension spiking is the practice of raising compensation during the final years of a government worker’s tenure, in order to raise the amount he or she will receive in retirement pension payments.
Please click HERE to encourage your senator to strongly support this bill!
- HB 2139, sponsored by Representative Warren Petersen, passed the House on Monday by a 35-22 vote, and was passed by the Senate Education Committee by a 5-3 vote on Thursday.
HB 2139, as amended, would broaden the eligibility for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts to include children who are the siblings of current or previous ESA recipients. This great school choice measure would enable an increased number of Arizona children to get the educational experiences they deserve, and allow their parents to provide them with much more individualized educations.
Please click HERE to ask your senator to support this great legislation!
- HB 2328, sponsored by Representative David Livingston, was passed by the Senate Education Committee by a 5-3 vote on Thursday and should be headed to the floor soon.
HB 2328 would increase the number of students who qualify for school choice scholarships through Arizona’s corporate and insurer tax credits.
Please click HERE to ask your senator to enable more children to get a quality education by supporting this bill!
- HB 2367, sponsored by House Speaker Andy Tobin, was passed by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a 3-2 party-line vote on Wednesday and should be headed to the floor soon.
This simple Medicaid reform would require the director of AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid program) to annual apply for certain waivers from the federal government designed to prevent able-bodied adults from lingering on the program for longer than is reasonably necessary. These waivers would include work requirements and a lifetime limit to the number of years they can remain on Medicaid.
Please click HERE to tell your senator how important this Medicaid reform is!
- HB 2378, sponsored by Representative Justin Olson, passed the Senate Finance Committee by a unanimous 7-0 vote on Wednesday.
Representative Olson’s bill would prohibit municipalities from levying many municipality-wide taxes or fees against property owners.
Please click HERE to let your senator know you expect him or her to stand up for Arizona taxpayers!
- HCR 2022, sponsored by Representative J.D. Mesnard, was passed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday by a 5-2 vote (with Democratic Senator Steve Farley joining Republicans).
HCR 2022 would give voters an opportunity to prohibit taxing authorities from levying property taxes on the first $2.4 million of full cash value — saving money for property owners and limiting government taxing power.
Please click HERE to ask your senator to support this bill on the floor!
And the AFP-Arizona “Legislator of the Week” is…
Please click HERE to learn more about the great work of one Arizona legislator who served the taxpayers well this week!
Please Sign Up for www.AZVoices.gov – and Make Your Voice Heard!!
We have 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 is a great way for citizen lobbyists such as you to become even more actively involved in the political process.
Not only that, but some 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 AFP-Arizona Donation Page.
I hope you’ll continue to stand with us as we fight for the interests of Arizona taxpayers together!
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