Legislature

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The Arizona House and Senate meet again on Monday to consider final bills as the legislative session draws to a close. Reporters Andrew Oxford and Mary Jo Pitzl cover what’s going on hour by hour at the State Capitol.

Read recent coverage here:

Friday June 25 at the Legislative Assembly

Thursday June 24 at the Legislative Assembly

3:30 p.m .: Resumption of bills with veto

Maybe the second time is charm.

The Arizona House of Representatives on Monday completed passage of 22 bills that Governor Doug Ducey vetoed last month as he sought to push the legislature to approve a budget.

Ignoring the governor’s vetoes would have required qualified two-thirds majorities in both chambers, which would have doomed some of the bills that had only been passed on the basis of parties.

Instead of attempting to override the governor’s veto, senators tabled the bills as new legislation and the Senate suspended its rules for voting on each Thursday.

Although the governor did not go into details of the bills, some were controversial.

A measure, now called the Senate Act of 1840, prohibits state spending on any form of cultural or racial sensitivity training.

Other measures, however, received broad support. The proposal now titled Senate Bill 1831 would allow adopted adults aged 53 and over to access their original birth certificates.

However, some measures encountered a problem during the second passage through the House.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers R-Mesa sponsored a law that would allow those convicted of certain sexual offenses while under 22 to petition in limited circumstances after the age of 35 years to have their name removed from the state sex offender registry. The bill did not get enough votes to pass in the House on Friday, but was passed 38 to 20 on Monday.

There is also the question of whether the House will override one of the governor’s vetoes, as the Senate did on Thursday in a very unusual and entirely ceremonial vote.

Senator Tyler Pace, R-Mesa, decided to override the governor’s veto on a technical bill that Ducey had vetoed, and the Senate agreed with a 25-5 vote. Only the main Republicans in the Senate opposed this decision.

Pace acknowledged that the vote would not have a major effect on politics, but instead suggested that it was meant to represent the independence of the legislature.

If the House votes to do the same, it would be the first time in decades that the Arizona legislature has overruled a governor’s veto.

Andrew Oxford

2:30 p.m .: Bill to extend college credit

The Arizona Senate overwhelmingly approved a proposal on Monday to allow students in the state to receive more credit for courses they take at community colleges and universities while working towards a degree. high school and let more freshmen and sophomores participate.

High school students can currently enroll in post-secondary courses and receive credits towards a college diploma and a high school diploma.

Under state dual-enrollment policies, students can receive no more than half of what’s known as a Carnegie unit – a basic measure of credit hours used to calculate credits for earning the high school diploma. House Bill 2021 would allow students to receive more than half a credit and would lift a limit on the number of freshmen and sophomores who can enroll in dual enrollment courses.

“If you have freshmen and sophomores who are ready for double credit, there shouldn’t be a random percentage that has to be higher (students),” State Representative Michelle said. Udall, Republican of Mesa and sponsor of the bill, House Education Committee hearing in January.

The Senate approved the measure with a 28-0 vote.

With the Senate running out of a few members, the chamber adjourned until 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

1:45 p.m .: Sine die … in July?

The state budget is nearing completion, but two of the 11 bills that are part of the spending plan still need work from the state Senate. This pushes the legislature to the June 30 constitutional deadline to approve a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The two budget bills – one dealing with Kindergarten to Grade 12 and the other dealing with criminal justice – arrived in the Senate on Monday. It takes three days to pass a bill, through a normal legislative process, which means the earliest those two bills could get a vote in the Senate is Wednesday.

If the Senate disagrees with the House’s changes to Senate Bills 1821 and 1826, more work is needed to match the different versions – and that could extend beyond Wednesday. .

In the Criminal Justice Bill, the House and Senate versions differ in how they define when a local government rule or policy would trigger possible state preemption. The House version is more stringent.

In Bill K-12, an expansion of the government bond program is involved. The Senate approved the expansion of the program to cover up to 60% of Arizona schoolchildren; the House rejected enlargement.

There’s also up in the air a proposal that the House added to Bill K-12 that would require the state’s Board of Education to adopt a civic education program that would highlight the benefits of education. democracy by contrasting it with other political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism.

These differences can be ironed out by the Senate accepting the changes in the House, or by a conference committee that would bring together members of the House and Senate to find a compromise.

Marie Jo Pitzl

11:30 am: Public access to DPS body camera images under review

The House and Senate have both approved a budget bill funding body cameras for Arizona Department of Public Safety soldiers, but a separate bill that would severely limit public access to footage is still pending. in discussion.

The Legislature approved $ 6.9 million for DPS body cameras, $ 6.6 million for overtime funding and $ 23.5 million for a 10% pay rise during the fiscal year 2022.

The House and the Senate passed slightly different bills this would allow the DPS to withhold body camera images if the department determines that there is no significant public objective in releasing them. Both houses must approve the same version of a bill in order for it to be transferred to the governor’s office.

The DPS is the largest law enforcement agency in the state where the majority of its forces are not equipped with body cameras.

– Perry Vandell

10 a.m .: Bill would transfer election disputes to AG’s office

GOP lawmakers on Thursday passed a measure to give Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, sole power to represent the state in election-related disputes and barred Democrat Katie Hobbs, Secretary of State, from d ” hire their own lawyers.

The bill gives Brnovich’s office control over these lawsuits until January 2, 2023 – when Brnovich and Hobbs must both leave their respective offices. Brnovich is running for the US Senate and Hobbs is running for governor in 2022.

Bill then goes to Governor Doug Ducey.

The Brnovich and Hobbs offices have a controversial relationship in addition to the fact that the leaders are from different parties. In October, Hobbs filed a complaint with the Arizona State Bar on legal representation provided by several members of the attorney general’s staff. She alleged that the attorney general’s office violated ethics rules in several cases, for example by advising her office in a lawsuit and later intervening on the opposite side.

– Andrew Oxford

9 a.m .: Chamber, Senate must reconcile the differences

The House and Senate are in the final days of their 2021 session. Senate Speaker Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said on Friday that she expects the legislature to function on Monday and Tuesday as well as potentially Wednesday. , the last day of the current fiscal year.

Questions still on the table include a final decision on an expansion of the state’s education bond program, which was defeated in the House on Friday after being approved earlier last week in the Senate.

Other issues on the table include a last minute measure by Republicans who would demand that the State Board of Education work with three particular organizations to develop new civic education standards that include instructions on “desirable citizenship” and the stories of people who fled communism .

The House and Senate must approve the same version of a bill before it can be sent to the governor for enactment.

– Andrew Oxford

Friday at the Legislative Assembly:The bill on education passes without extension of the vouchers; Home is coming home

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