It was another late night on Wednesday, but I snuck away to my office for a couple of minutes to do a video in the daylight.
It’s about this time in the session when the Democrats start to get ornery because one bad bill after another is passed on a party line vote. If something fails, one of the good old boys or good old girls brings it back up for reconsideration, and all of the Republicans march in a line and revive the Zombie Bill, as directed. Occasionally, bills die a second time like the rodeo license plate that would have benefited the Spirit of the West Museum in Scottsdale.￼ That died for the second time yesterday– thanks to Reps. Shawnna Bolick and Michelle Udall joining the ranks of representatives who are fed up with license plates. (I did a previous update on this topic.)
Governor Doug Ducey and Republican Legislators often pontificate about reducing bureaucracy and regulation. They then turn around and create more bureaucracy and regulations surrounding issues and services that they don’t like–for example, women’s reproductive rights, Clean Elections, voter rights, independent redistricting, the Citizens Initiative, marijuana… you get the idea. Today’s video is about three Republican bills that create new, unnecessary and redundant bureaucracy, regulations, and structure in the government.
Continue reading #AZHouse #Republican Bills Create Unnecessary Bureaucracy & Regulation (video)
Crossover Week in the Arizona Legislature is always hectic, but Crossover Week 2019 was also full of drama.
Besides rousing debates on the sub-minimum wage, wineries as agritourism, water, license plates and fake meat, there was a Republican tiff brewing between two conservatives– Reps. Kelly Townsend and Anthony Kern– last week.
On Wednesday, Townsend started voting NO on every Republican bill because Kern wouldn’t let one of her Elections Committee bills out of his Rules Committee. It is rare to see any Republican defy their leadership so publicly and effectively. Speaker Rusty Bowers depends on all 31 Republicans voting in lock step to pass their ideological bills — like the $7.25/hour minimum wage, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of occupations, and risky water deals.
After Townsend voted NO on several Republican bills, the House recessed. Republicans went into closed caucus to figure out what to do, and Democrats went to our conference room to strategize.
When we went back into session about an hour later, Townsend was gone for the day. This left the House Republicans without vote #31. The 29 Dems killed the bills we didn’t like— thanks to Townsend’s absence— before the leadership stopped all voting. The rest of the day was spent in COW debate. (The Republicans will likely try to bring these dead bills back as zombie bills. In the photo above, you’ll note that GOP Whip Rep. Becky Nutt voted no. Since she voted on the prevailing side, she can bring it back as a zombie bill.)
Townsend’s protest shows the Republicans’ vulnerability. If one of their members doesn’t get what they want or decides to take a stand on a bad bill, that one person can easily throw a wrench into the Republican machine.
Continue reading Townsend Shows Bowers The Power of 1