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)
Season 2, Episode 4 of A View from the Left Side is a compilation of Legislative Updates from Arizona House member Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley. These updates were recorded in February 2022. They range in topic from banning the COVID vaccine and critical race theory in schools but making it easier to have guns at schools — you can’t make this stuff up.
Continue reading Podcast: Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: COVID Vaccine Bans to School Vouchers & More
In 2018, more than one million Arizona voters said NO to expansion of private school vouchers (AKA empowerment scholarships). That inconvenient truth means nothing to Arizona Republicans. They get their marching orders from right wing “think tanks” like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Rep. Shawnna Bolick’s strike everything amendment to HB2803 is ALEC model legislation.
Continue reading Republicans Push to Expand School Vouchers … Again (video)
In 1980, Arizona established the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL). This is an artificial cap on education spending that ignores changing student population and advances in education, particularly in technology. The Arizona Legislature has to raise the AEL to allow schools districts to spend the money the Legislature budgeted for them in 2021. (Yeah, it’s that dumb.) The AEL is archaic and should be eliminated. The short term fix is to raise the cap. The Arizona House voted to raise the cap this week. Now the issue is hanging in the Senate.
Continue reading Arizona House Raises Education Spending Limit (video)
I am the most independent-voting Democrat in the Arizona House and perhaps in the Arizona Legislature. How did that happen? When I first ran for office in 2015, I said I would look at every bill and ask myself, “How does this help the people of Arizona?” And if it didn’t broadly help people OR if it was a carve-out for the connected, there was no reason for me to support it.
Continue reading I Am the Most Independent Voting Democrat in the #AZHouse: Here’s Why (video)
Rep. Joanne Osborne’s HB2086 would block all current and future COVID19 vaccines from being required vaccines for school children statewide. Good-bye, parental control and local input. Republicans want to dictate your future. No parents testified for or against this bill in committee, but on RTS, more than 300 people signed in against.
K-12 schools require vaccines for highly contagious diseases (like measles and chicken pox) that spread like wild fire in schools. The Republicans insisted that COVID is not a childhood disease and, therefore, is ineligible to be on the required school vaccine list. They claimed that parents and children were afraid of the vaccine (not COVID), and “kids don’t get that sick from COVID” so it’s no big deal. The Republican message to the children was, “Yeah, your grandpa died of this disease, but you won’t get that sick. Trust us. Suck it up.”
When I mentioned that Arizona has one of the worst COVID death rates in the country, one of the Republicans blew me off saying, “We’re talking about the VACCINE — not about COVID.” How can the topics be separated? The unvaccinated are dying at much higher rates.
Continue reading Republican Bill Blocks COVID Vaccines from K-12 Vaccine List (video)