Sierra Club Legislative Update: "There Is Not Too Much To Like"

Sandy Bahr, the legislative lobbyist for Arizona's Sierra Club chapter, sends out a weekly update:

Hello all! We knew it was too good to be true and that they would find a few ways to try and undermine environmental protections. This coming week, they will begin to move bills in earnest and, so far, there is not too much to like. Of particular concern are bills aimed at water jurisdiction. We need Clean Water Protection for Arizona’s rivers and streams, intermittent and ephemeral, which provide the lifeblood for arid land. We must keep strong protections in place. Ask members of the Committee on Water, Land Use and Rural Development to vote no on the following bills, both of which are geared toward weakening Clean Water Act protections:

SCR1015 jurisdiction over intrastate waters (Allen: Antenori, Biggs, et al) refers to the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment to ensure that the Clean Water Act does not apply to most of Arizona’s waters. It states there is no jurisdiction to nonnavigable intrastate waters, which includes many of our rivers, streams, washes, etc. This is a very bad idea as Clean Water Act protection is critical

for these waters. OPPOSE.
SCR1024 intrastate water resources; state sovereignty (Griffin) is an anti-Clean Water Act resolution that says the legislature supports the continued sovereignty and jurisdiction of the states to regulate intrastate water resources and opposes any attempt by the federal government to diminish this jurisdiction unnecessarily — in this regard, they mean the Clean Water Act. This is still silly, but at least, it is just a resolution. OPPOSE.

Here is information on the Committee and how to contact them: Sen. Allen or (602) 926-5219; Sen. Gallardo or (602) 926-5830; Sen. Gould or (602) 926-4138; Griffin or (602) 926-5895; Sen. Jackson or (602) 926-5862; and Sen. Shooter or 602) 926-4139.

Here is what is coming up this week.

Monday, January 31st

House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources at 2pm in House Hearing Room 4
HB2239 state parks board; membership (Goodale) adds a tourism professional to the Parks Board. This really does not address any of the significant issues with Parks, but I expect they think the transition to privatizing will be made easier by adding this person? WATCH.
HB2358 wildlife; guides; wasted meat (JP Weirs, Stevens: D. Smith) clarifies the definition of guide and adds wasting game meet to the list of violations for which a hunting license can be revoked. SUPPORT.
HB2360 game and fish appointment board (JP Weirs, Stevens: D. Smith) changes the “and” to “or” regarding the qualifications for one of the individuals for this board. It means the organization can have a purpose to conserve deer, elk, pronghorn, or fish, rather than all of them. We argued that they could have filled this by appointing someone who works more holistically on wildlife issues, including habitat protection. Apparently the governor’s office disagreed. We opposed the bill last year that created this entity and still think it is just intended to keep people from participating and make Game and Fish more of a trade association versus a public agency accountable to the larger public. WATCH.
HB2396 game and fish; trophies; enforcement (Jones) makes it a class 6 felony to takes or possess a trophy animal or endangered wildlife unlawfully. It defines trophy animals. This bill will have a hearing for discussion, but the bill will not move forward. We are supportive of being tough on poachers and those who trade in endangered wildlife.

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Transportation upon adjournment of rules in SHR109
Presentations - State Land Department, Arizona African American Legislative Leadership Conference Committee, Arizona Horse Council, and Arizona Farm Bureau
SB1193 reportable hazardous substance release; exception (Nelson) makes a technical change to a cross-reference.
SB1194 structural pest management; regulation (Pierce, Crandall, Griffin, et al) Transfers the administrative supervision of the Office of Pest Management to the Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture through December 31, 2013. Requires the Office of Pest Management to relocate its offices on the general effective date to those facilities furnished by the Arizona Department of Agriculture. It establishes a Structural Pest Management Task Force that is far from balanced and does not include anyone with a background in integrated pest management. WATCH.
SB1228 trust lands; long-term leases; default (Nelson, Fann, Jones, et al) establishes a cancellation procedure for defaults on long-term leases of state trust lands that allows the State Land Commissioner to extend the time for delinquent payments up to five years before cancellation of the lease occurs. WATCH.

Tuesday, February 1st

House Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs at 9am in Senate Hearing Room 3
SCM1003 depleted uranium; veterans (Sinema, Driggs: Antenori, Driggs, et al) asks the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to assist any member or veteran of the armed forces who has been exposed to depleted uranium munitions or equipment, and their dependants, to obtain a best practices health screening test for exposure to depleted uranium that uses methods capable of detecting low levels of depleted uranium. This is a basic public health issue. SUPPORT.

House Committee on the Environment at 2pm in House Hearing Room 5
Presentation by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regarding “Arizona Border Trash Impact”
HB2104 trash collection; multifamily housing (Kavanagh) clarifies that commercial services include services to apartment complexes and that cities can’t block private commercial trash or recycling. WATCH.

Senate Committee on Appropriations at 2pm in Senate Hearing Room 109
SB1135 nuclear emergency appropriation and assessment (Nelson) appropriates about $3.5 million over two years for operating a nuclear power plant. There are provisions for assessments against the utilities. WATCH.

Wednesday, February 2nd

Senate Committee on Commerce and Energy at 9am in Senate Hearing Room 109
SB1178 intrastate commerce act (Allen, Gray, Griffin, et al) says that all goods grown, manufactured or made in this state and all services performed in this state when the goods or services are sold, maintained or retained in this state are not subject to the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the several states. Apparently, they do not want federal food safety provisions to apply to food grown and sold in Arizona. Obviously, they would object to pesticide regulation and any kind of public health or environmental regulation as well. This is ridiculous. OPPOSE.

Senate Committee on Government Reform at 9am in Senate Hearing Room 1
SB1215 public meetings; call to public (Allen: Barton, Crandell) requires a public body to make an open call to the public during a public meeting. This is a good idea.

House Committee on Commerce and Energy at 10am in House Hearing Room 5
HB2192 state lottery; transfer (J. Weiers) transfers lottery authority and dollars to new entity. WATCH.

Senate Committee on Water, Land Use and Rural Development at 2pm in Senate Hearing Room 3
Presentation by Arizona Department of Water Resources
SCR1015 jurisdiction over intrastate waters (Allen: Antenori, Biggs, et al) See above. OPPOSE.
SCR1024 intrastate water resources; state sovereignty (Griffin) See above. OPPOSE.

Thursday, February 3rd

House Committee on Agriculture and Water at 9am in House Hearing Room 5
HB2393 drought emergency groundwater transfer (Jones) groundwater may be transported away from a groundwater basin or away from the upper San Pedro water district in an emergency. This is a bill that goes through every session.

Friday, February 4th

Appropriations Subcommittee on Rural Issues, Education & Natural Resources at 9am SHR109
Budget Hearings — Department of Agriculture and Office of Pest Management

Appropriations Subcommittee on Rural Issues, Education and Natural Resources at 9am in SHR3
Budget Hearings — Arizona Department of Transportation

You can contact Governor Brewer by calling her at (602) 542-4331 or toll free at 1-(800) 253-0883. You can email her by clicking on Governor Brewer and then filling in the online form. You can also paste this website into your browser

To email your legislators or find their direct phone numbers, click on Legislators or paste into your browser. If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislators’ offices toll free at 1-800-352-8404. In the Phoenix area call (602) 926-3559 (Senate) or (602) 926-4221 (House) and ask them to connect you with your legislators.