We were greeted with a HUGE list of bills in caucus this morning.
Since the staff didn’t receive the caucus agenda until about an hour before the meeting, Democrats discussed a giant list of controversial bills with no staff briefing materials. (Typical Republican disrespect for our caucus and our staff.)
The list of bills attacking your rights was nearly 2 pages long. Republicans have proposed several voter suppression bills, plus attacks on freedom to protest, Clean Elections, and the Citizens Initiative. This blog post and video from February covers some of the voter suppression bills proposed in the Arizona House.
Today’s video covers a few examples of Senate voter suppression bills: SB1485 (PEVL Purge proposed by Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita); SB1593 (shortening length of time to vote early proposed by Senator David Gowan); SB1106 (class 6 felony for people who vote in Arizona and don’t intent to remain a resident of Arizona, proposed by Senator J.D. Mesnard); and SB1530 (instructions to mail ballots back would criminalize family members who forward ballots, proposed by Mesnard).
Continue reading Republican Bills Attack Voting Rights, Freedom of Expression (video)
Today was the last Ways and Means Committee Meeting of 2021, and it was a doozie. More interruptions. More suppression of speech. More putdowns.
There were several controversial bills on the agenda, particularly three that take money from public education or lead to more privatization.
SB1273 would allow Student Tuition Organizations (STOs) to give students money for expenses other than tuition. we know that STO’s are not transparent. We know how many scholarships they deliver but not how many students are being served. We also know that some parents get as much is $20,000 a year per child for those children to attend private or religious schools. That’s blatantly unfair and in equitable. SB1273 would just allow them to give away more tax￼￼ with no accountability.
SB1280 is about the privatization of school transportation. There is a previous video on this bill, but things came out in committee that make men more against it. One of my big concerns about strike-everything bill SB1280 is child safety. This bill allows charter schools and districts schools to use some of their current transportation funding in order to give grants to parents. As you may know, charter schools get money for transportation, but they don’t have to use it on transportation. I’m sure you’ve seen the long lines of parents who are picking up or dropping off their kids at charter schools. Public school kids have the opportunity to ride the school bus or perhaps even walk to their neighborhood school. This bill would allow parents to apply for grants to get an unknown amount of money to come up with “innovative ways” to get their kids to school, including paying parents gas mileage or funding neighborhood carpools, city bus passes, or ride sharing services (like Uber or Lyft).
Continue reading Republicans Attack Invest In Ed & Ignore Voters (video)