What Did the Arizona Legislature Do in the First 100 Days of 2022? (video)

Phoenix

The Arizona Legislature has a 100 day target for the length of each session. With more than 1000 bills proposed and more than 300 signed into law each year, the Legislature rarely finishes in 100 days.

April 19, 2022 is day 100 for this year. We are lurching slowly toward a budget, with more than 100 bills waiting to be heard and a few large projects — like education funding, the proposed Water Authority, and a potential “repeal and replace” revival of the Flat Tax — hanging in limbo. As I write this note, it is  Wednesday, April 13, and the Arizona House is temporarily adjourned until Monday, April 18. This is a repeat of last week, when we gaveled in for business on Monday, April 4 and promptly adjourned until Thursday.

NOBODY wants a repeat of 2021.

Continue reading What Did the Arizona Legislature Do in the First 100 Days of 2022? (video)

Dirty Money Hates Clean Elections (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley and Edward Cizak

Today’s video is about Clean Elections and about saving Democracy. It also addresses the drama over voting rights legislation in the US Congress. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, you were in the Arizona Legislature. You know how radical Arizona Republicans are. PLEASE save our state from voter suppression and a flood of dirty money trying to buy our elections.

The voters of Arizona created the Citizens Clean Elections Commission in 1998 as a reaction to corruption and bribery scandals in the Arizona Legislature in the early 1990s. I moved to Arizona 40 years ago and remember the AZScam scandal very well. Clean Elections funding was meant to be a system where candidates with good ideas (but no connections to rich people) could successfully run for office. It was a good system that was used by Republicans and Democrats.

Every year that I have served in the Legislature, the Republicans — particularly Rep. Leo Biasiucci from Mohave County — have proposed and passed bills to diminish clean money in elections. Prop 306 in 2018 hurt clean elections greatly. There has been a dramatic reduction in candidates running clean since that passed.

Continue reading Dirty Money Hates Clean Elections (video)

Rep. PPH Legislative Update: Moving into the 2nd Session of the 55th #AZLeg (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the past Legislative session, the extreme laws enacted by the radical right that controls the Arizona Republican Party, the continuing court cases and voter backlash against these new laws, and a look forward to November 2022.

As many as eight appointees will start the Legislative session in January 2022 with returning incumbents. At this writing there could be as many as 17 open seats in the Arizona House, plus the eight appointees will be running in the November 2022 election.

Appointees are technically incumbents, but they have not been elected and have proven to be vulnerable to losses at the ballot box. Many districts — both Ds and Rs — have two seats open or one open seat + one appointee because so many legislators have chosen to run for other offices or to quit or retire.

Add to this the unknowns regarding the new voting maps and the 2022 election have many unknowns. In fact, the reference to the LD2 Senate race in this video may be obsolete if the current draft maps are adopted by the Independent Redistricting Commission.

Continue reading Rep. PPH Legislative Update: Moving into the 2nd Session of the 55th #AZLeg (video)

Podcast: Independent Redistricting Commission Draft Maps Ready for Public Comment (video)

Podcast on Independent Redistricting

As prescribed in the US Constitution, every 10 years the United States conducts a census and counts everyone in the country. After the census, there is a redistricting process in which the areas that have gained population can potentially gain seats in the US House of Representatives. Population shifts nationally and statewide dictate that new maps be drawn to update representation in government at multiple levels. Historically, redistricting has been conducted by the political party in power in each state. This has resulted in highly gerrymandered and oddly shaped districts that are designed to keep the party in power in power for another 10 years until after the next census. Allowing the political parties to draw lopsided maps – literally – is obviously not a fair to the people and leads to unrepresentative government.

In 2000, the voters of Arizona passed a Citizen’s Initiative that took the redistricting process out of the hands of the Republican-controlled Legislature and gave it to an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). By law, there are two Republican members, two Democratic members and one Independent member.

Arizona’s 2021 Independent Redistricting Commission has been working on new Congressional and Legislative maps for a few months now. Controversial draft maps (version 10) were passed by the commissioners on October 28, 2021.   

The maps are not final, and many people in Pima County, myself included, are not happy with the Pima County’s gerrymandered districts. Tucson proper is split into four different districts, ignoring natural boundaries like Interstate 10 and multiple mountain ranges and putting urban areas in districts that are heavily rural.

Continue reading Podcast: Independent Redistricting Commission Draft Maps Ready for Public Comment (video)

Podcast: Updates from Taxes to Reproductive Rights & COVID … What’s the Latest?

Rep. PPH's podcast

One of my pet peeves is reading a cliff-hanger news story, only to be left hanging when there is no follow up. Several stories reported in my previous podcasts have had newsworthy developments since those episodes aired.

To catch you up on the details, Episode 8 is a compilation of updates.

Many of my podcasts referred to petition drives and court cases that were trying to stop bad Republican bills from being enacted. These issues were decided last week. Why last week? Because September 29, 2021 is the 91st day after June 30, 2021, which was the end of the Legislative session. Unless passed with an emergency clause or stopped by the courts or the voters, bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor are enacted 90 days after the end of session.

Three previous guests return to discuss the status of the contested laws – particularly the flat tax, the alternative tax to get around Prop 208, the voter suppression bills, the bills attacking the power of the Secretary of State and the power of the governor, Arizona’s latest radical anti-choice bill SB1457, and mandated COVID public health protections.

The good news is that progressives had some wins in the courts. We also had some disappointments. Needless to say, the struggle to beat back oppressive legislation continues. Of course, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich are appealing cases that the state lost. Brnovich is even appealing the court’s ruling that Republican Legislators acted unconstitutionally when they stuff dozens of unrelated failed bills into the budget. Who is paying for these unnecessary lawsuits generated by unconstitutional or burdensome laws enacted by Republicans? You are. The taxpayer.

Continue reading Podcast: Updates from Taxes to Reproductive Rights & COVID … What’s the Latest?

Podcast: The State of Politics in Arizona (video)

Rep. PPH Podcast

The United States is about 15 months out from the November 2022 election. At this juncture, there is a lot of drama going on in this country and in the state of Arizona. Social media is awash with lies, conspiracy theories, outrage memes, and anti-science rhetoric on multiple topics. Mainstream news outlets like the New York Times, National Public Radio, and AZ Central attempt to point out factual inaccuracies, but it is next to impossible to keep up with the volume, when the liars include the former president, his attorney and many elected officials. [Hear this commentary at the beginning of my podcast, linked below.]

There is a segment of the Republican Party that still refuses to accept the results of the November 2020 election. President Joe Biden’s win in Arizona and the involvement of many Arizona elected officials in the “Stop the Steal” movement and the January 6 insurrection put our state in the vortex of the manufactured 2020 election controversy.  For months, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Senator Warren Petersen have drawn out the discredited audit of Maricopa County ballots by the Cyber Ninjas. The nation is watching as “fraudit” volunteers examine actual paper ballots to look for bamboo threads and watermarks and follow up on election conspiracy theories. Meanwhile millions of dollars is pouring in from outside sources to support these efforts and copycat efforts in other states to discredit fair elections that were audited multiple times. The Fann and Petersen fraudit is a dangerous game.

Continue reading Podcast: The State of Politics in Arizona (video)