Here’s a roundup of the top secular issue bills headed for committee in the Arizona state legislature this week, thanks to Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (CEBV) as part of their newsletter.
Users of Arizona’s Request to Speak (RTS) system can sign in to publicly register their opinions on these bills before the dates listed.
CEBV can also help you get started using RTS here.
SB1040, sponsored by John Kavanagh (R-3), would ban trans kids from using the school bathrooms, changing facilities and “sleeping quarters” that align with their gender identities. It would create a situation where trans kids couldn’t use any facilities at all without undue scrutiny of their bodies, calling that a "reasonable accommodation." Anyone who “encounters” a trans person in a bathroom could file suit against public schools. A federal court found that these policies violate the US Constitution and Title IX, so in addition to being monstrously cruel, this would open Arizona to a host of lawsuits at taxpayer expense. Polls show that Americans from every political ideology and age group oppose anti-trans legislation. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SB1145, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would exempt students at Arizona’s three in-state universities from student activity fees if the student says the payment would “violate their conscience” or if the student meets any of a list of reasons for exemption, including objecting on religious or moral grounds, financial hardship, and part-time status. Universities already give fee waivers for financial hardship; this is intended to enshrine culture wars into statute. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SB1146, sponsored by Jake Hoffman (R-15), would require Arizona’s retirement system to divest from companies that “promote, facilitate or advocate for” abortions for minors, or for “the inclusion of, or the referral of students to, sexually explicit material.” This ill-considered blanket mandate would leave half a million teachers, municipal workers and other government employees with retirement accounts that are unable to invest in most major companies, and creates a minefield for investors and pension fund managers. Hoffman introduced the same bill last year. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SB1500, sponsored by Frank Carroll (R-28), would require state retirement funds to evaluate their investments solely based on finances. Similar to other bills this session that crusade against “pro-abortion, pro-sex-ed” banks. This culture war against an imaginary problem could create real consequences for those who depend on Arizona’s retirement system. An ill-considered blanket mandate such as this could leave half a million teachers, municipal workers and other government employees with retirement accounts that are unable to invest in most major companies, and may create a minefield for investors and pension fund managers. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SB1600, sponsored by Janae Shamp (R-29), would broaden a controversial anti-abortion bill from 2017 that requires clinics, hospitals and physicians to “care for a baby delivered alive.” Physicians and parents opposed the 2017 bill for forcing unnecessary procedures on babies with no chance of survival instead of allowing these babies to die in the arms of their parents. The bill removes compromise language inserted to help the bill pass and inserts language related to the concept of fetal personhood. Any violation would be a felony and result in the loss of the medical professional’s license. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SCR1025, sponsored by Justine Wadsack (R-17), would ask voters to insert the “parents bill of rights” into the state Constitution. This concept, pushed by the extremist Center for Arizona Policy, is often wielded as a far-right political bludgeon against schools, health care organizations and children’s advocacy groups. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
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- HB2351, sponsored by Patricia Contreras (D-12), would ban health care professionals from using the abusive, widely discredited practice of LGBT “conversion therapy” on minors. These methods can include electric shocks, induced vomiting, or elastic bands snapped against the skin to create negative associations with same-sex attraction; hypnosis; masculinity workshops; and spiritual counseling. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and other national organizations oppose this “therapy” as destructive and unprofessional. You won’t be able to sign in on RTS about this bill until it gets a hearing. Contact House Health Chair Steve Montenegro (R-29) (email@example.com / 602-926-3635) and House Judiciary Chair Quang Nguyen (R-1) (firstname.lastname@example.org / 602-926-3258) to ask that the bill be placed on an agenda. SUPPORT
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