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Arizona's 55th Legislature in Session
January - April 2021


 
The following comments and positions on bills in the legislature are provided by the LWV Arizona Legislative Analysis Team.


  • April 20: 100th day of the session (sine die)


LWVGT OP-ED 2-24-21 ARIZONA DAILY STAR

LWVAZ Advocacy in the News 3.20.21



 

Critical Call to Action - Please Read and Act Immediately


Call Governor Ducey at 1-877-406-6303 and demand he veto SB 1485 - THE PEVL purge bill:
SB1485  (elections; voting center tabulation NOW: early voting list; eligibility) i.e., PEVL purge.   Expected to be on Governor Ducey's desk. 

Call (1-877-406-6303) demanding that Gov. Ducey veto SB1485. Calls go directly to his office.the Governor's office.  

Callers hear the following message before being connected to Ducey’s office:
 Hello - thanks for taking action!
 The Arizona state legislature is about to pass SB1485, which will purge more than 100,000 voters from the vote by mail list. This bill is an attempt to put barriers in the way of voters and prevent Arizonans from making their voices heard. 

In a moment, you’ll be connected to Governor Ducey’s office. When you reach a staff member or voicemail, please say your name, that you live in Arizona, and that you are asking the governor to veto SB1485. If you get an answering machine, please leave a message. Thanks for calling and taking action!

Call 1-877-586-4895 and urge Arizona Senate to vote no on anti ballot initiatives - HCR2001 and HCR2016

HCR 2001 (initiatives; single subject; title). Limit initiatives in Arizona to a single subject or be invalidated.  Awaiting 3rd Read in the Senate

HCR 2016 (initiatives; supermajority vote requirement). Requires constitutional referenda to pass by 55% of voters. Awaiting 3rd Read in the Senate 

Call 1-877-586-4895 and urge Arizona Senate to vote no on anti ballot initiatives - HCR2001 and HCR2016

Callers hear the following message before being connected to the switchboard:
Hello -- Thanks for taking action!
Arizona state legislators are attacking our democracy and the voting rights of every Arizonan. Over 30 bills have been introduced to undermine our democratic institutions, criminalize protesters and suppress our right to vote. 
One particular threat right now is bills like HCR2016 and HCR2001, which would make it extremely difficult to pass grassroots ballot initiatives. 
In a moment you’ll be connected to the state legislative switchboard. Ask to speak to your State Senator. If you need the switchboard operator to look up your state senator for you, they can do that! When you reach a staff member or a voicemail, tell them you are a voter and constituent. Then, tell them that they should vote NO on any bill that restricts our right to vote and undermines the grassroots ballot initiatives process, including HCR2016 and HCR2001.

Thanks for calling and taking action!
 

Call  (602)-926-3559 and urge Arizona Legislators to vote no on HB2309 

HB 2309   “violent or disorderly assembly.”
The AZ State Senate is about to vote on a bill criminalizing protest. Can you make a quick call now & tell your legislator to vote NO?  

Call the AZ State Senate switchboard at (602)-926-3559 and ask to speak to your state senator - if you’re not sure who that is, they can look it up for you. When you reach your senator’s office, tell them to vote NO on HB2309, which criminalizes protest. Thanks! 

About the legislation:
Creates the crime of “violent or disorderly assembly.” Essentially, if there is any property damage or someone is injured at all during a protest, that protest can be considered a “violent or disorderly assembly.” Participating in a violent or disorderly assembly would become a class 6 felony.
In addition, the bill would increase the penalties associated with certain crimes if they are committed during an “violent or disorderly assembly.” In particular:
  • Obstructing a public thoroughfare would become a class 6 felony versus a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that people could get a felony charge simply for standing in a road during a “violent or disorderly assembly”. 
  • A public nuisance charge would become a class 6 felony instead of a class 2 misdemeanor. This means that people could get a felony charge simply for amplifying sound or playing music  during a “violent or disorderly assembly.” 
  • Pointing a laser pointer at a peace officer would become a class 6 felony as opposed to a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Criminal damage worth more than $250 but less than $1,000 would become a class 6 felony instead of a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Abuse of venerated objects would become a class 6 felony instead of a class 2 misdemeanor.
  • Using fireworks would become a class 6 felony.
  • Anyone convicted of assaulting an officer, which is already automatically considered aggravated assault under Arizona law, would face a minimum of six months in jail.
  • The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bret Roberts, admitted in a committee hearing that his intention with the bill is to discourage people from participating in political speech protected by the First Amendment. 
Talking Points
  1. The language in HB 2309 is broad, a person could be charged with serious felony offenses for simply participating in a protest, even if they themselves do not commit an act of violence or damage property. 
  2. The legislation also turns a series of misdemeanors, like using fireworks or obstructing a highway, into more serious felonies that carry prison time.
  3. The legislation is a significant threat to anyone who may want to exercise their First Amendment rights when doing so might provoke the ire of a government official.
 

ARIZONA REDISTRICTING UPDATE


Betty Bentson, LWVAZ Advocacy Committee Member and PPFM Program Coordinator


The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission continues to meet each Tuesday at 9 am. Links to the agendas can be found at
https://irc.az.gov. Each agenda contains a link to view the meeting live on YouTube and a link to provide public comments during the meeting. Links to recordings of past meetings can be found on the schedule of meetings (click Meeting Minutes). Plans are to also provide written minutes for meetings when staff are available to transcribe them.

The Commissioners continue to focus on organizational and administrative tasks. Hiring staff is a top priority for them. On March 16, Brian Schmitt, former chief of staff for Phoenix Councilman Jim Waring, was selected as the IRC Executive Director on a 3-2 vote. Mr. Schmitt began his duties on April 5. Candidates for the executive assistant position will be interviewed the week of April 12, and recruitment is underway for a public information officer (PIO). A long list of tasks awaits the new staff members, and we soon should expect better communications, an improved website, and improved efforts to move the work of the IRC forward.

The Ballard Spahr (Democrat) and Snell & Wilmer (Republican) law firms were selected as co-counsels, continuing the IRC practice of bipartisan representation. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Arizona Department of Administration have been providing the IRC with legal advice in the interim. The transition to the newly hired legal counsels should be completed soon.

Next up will be hiring mapping consultants. Three responses to the IRC’s Request for Proposals (RFPs) for mapping services were received. The Commissioners have finalized an evaluation tool for rating the proposals. (This was done confidentially in executive session to avoid giving unfair advantage during the RFP submittal and interview process.) The three mapping consultants will make presentations during the April 20 IRC meeting. They are:

  • HaystaqDNA LLC
  • Taylor English Decision LLC
  • Timmons Group

Unfortunately, the presentations will take place in executive session per requirements of the State procurement process. Chairman Neuberg told reporters that the Commission is unlikely to make a final decision on a mapping consultant at the April 20th meeting.

The delay in census data will have a significant impact on the IRC’s redistricting work. It will be late August before the census data will be sent to the states. Map drawing will be compressed into the September-December time period. Chairwoman Neuberg has said she would like to have the maps to the Secretary of State by early January. While there is no Constitutional deadline by which the legislative and Congressional maps must be finished, there are some important 2022 election-related dates. Clean Elections candidates filing begins on January 1, 2022, and filing for traditionally funded candidates begins on March 7, 2022. The filing period for all political candidates ends on April 4, 2022. Candidates need to know where the legislative and Congressional districts are located, collect petition signatures and, if needed, collect $5 Clean Elections contributions. Pressure will build to finish the maps and avoid delays, such as lawsuits.

The Commissioners have briefly discussed scheduling a “listening tour” before mapping begins to hear public comments about redistricting. They plan to revisit the topic soon. The 2011 IRC held two rounds of public meetings, one in Judy 2011 and the other in October 2011.

At this time, public comments can only be made during the Commission meetings, a system that severely restricts the ability of Arizonans to provide input to the work of the IRC. It affects people who work or who have limited or no access to the necessary technology. The Commissioners have promised expanded opportunities for public comments as soon as staff can address the problem.

Comments have been submitted on behalf of LWVAZ at most of the IRC meetings and can be found on the IRC website at the Public Comments link in the calendar of meetings. To date, the LWVAZ has asked for the ability to make public comments outside the limits of IRC meetings, pointing out the inequity of the current system, urged the hiring of two law firms to preserve bipartisan legal advice, expressed concern about hiring an executive director on  3-2 vote, when both previous executive directors were selected unanimously, and pointing out their were seemingly better-qualified candidates who were not selected, asked for diversity in the hiring of staff, praised the IRC for carefully considering public comments in their decision-making, and pointing out that it is critical to hire a mapping consultant with proven success in redistricting work.



APRIL 29, 6 p.m.

An Inside Look at the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission


A Conversation with Dr. Erika Neuberg, Chair of IRC

 

Thursday, April 29, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Virtual meeting on Zoom
Registration required
Register Here.

Join the League of Women Voters of Arizona for a conversation with Dr. Erika Neuberg,
Chair of the 2021 Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has convened to perfor  Arizona Legislature. Our conversation with Chairwoman Neuberg will include the workings of the current IRC, criteria they will use in creating the maps, next steps in the process, and how the public can get involved.

We invite all Arizonans to join us in this conversation.Submit your questions to
lwvazadvocacy@gmail.com



Voter Education Program
Monday, May 10, 2021
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM via ZOOM

“Fair Maps for Fair Elections: Redistricting in Arizona” with Betty Bengtson & Kathy Lalley


In 2021, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will be redrawing Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts using data from the most recent census. Learn about redistricting and how to be part of this important process.



Betty Bengtson is a member of the Board of the League of Women Voters of Arizona (LWVAZ) and the LWVAZ Advocacy Committee. She coordinates the League’s state-wide People Powered Fair Maps ™ campaign to work for a fair and independent redistricting of our state’s legislative and congressional districts. She also is a member of the Greater Tucson League and chairs its Advocacy Committee.



Kathy Lalley recently joined the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson to pursue an interest in voting rights and voter access. She moved to Tucson from Chicago with her husband Peter and dog Bertie after retiring from a career in advertising and marketing focused on research and communication strategy.

This program is free, and everyone is welcome. To register, Click Here. If you have any problems with registering, please send an email to lwvnaz@gmail.com.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to public service in the field of government. It is a national organization – open to people of all genders – whose purpose is to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never supports or opposes political parties or candidates for elective offices. For more information about the League of Women Voters programs, send an email to
lwvnaz@gmail.com.
   

Bills LWVAZ continues to monitor   

SB1713 (early ballots; identification; mailing): Awaiting a floor vote in the House

SB1106  (voting residency; intent to remain).  Creates new ways to remove eligible voters from the rolls and new criminal penalties for unsuspecting voters):  Awaiting a floor vote in the House

SCR 1034(voter protection act; court determinations).  Legislature can vote to amend initiative or referendum if found unconstitutional by AZ or US Supreme Court. Awaiting 3rd Read in the House
 

Call these legislators to vote no on voter supression bills


Arizona Senators:
  • President, Fann (1) 602-926-5874 
  • Shope (8) 602-926-Senate 3012 
  • Boyer (20) 602-926-4173 
  • Pace(25) 602-926-5760 
  • Gray (21) 602-926-5413
House: 
  • Speaker Bowers () 602-926-3128
  • Joel John (4) 602-926-3276 
  • Cobb(5) 602-926-3126 
  • Pratt (8) 602-926-5761
  • Cook (8) 602-926-5162
  • Dunn (13)  602-926- 4139
  • Osborne (13) 602-926-3181
  • Wilmeth (15) 602-926-5044
  • Kaiser (15) 602-926-3314 
  • Fillmore (16) 602-926-3187
  • Weninger (17) 602-926-3092, 
  • Chaplik (23) 602-926-3436
  • Udall (25) 602-926-4856
Use this handy list of Contacts for Senators and Representatives by District.

 
RESOURCES AND LINKS

Combined calendar for House and Senate. 

Arizona State Senators

Arizona House of Representatives

Contacts for Senators and Representatives by District


League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson

Address: 
800 N. Swan, Suite 126
Tucson, AZ 85711 

Phone: 
520-327-7652

Email:
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