> Chapter Home
 
> Political Action page
 

Grand Canyon Chapter Arizona Bill Tracker

Keeping the Legislature at Bay

Stopping the Big Bad Wolf Bills and More

May 5, 2014

Mexican wolf pup
  credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Phoenix, Ariz. – Today, Sierra Club released its 2014 Environmental Report Card for the Arizona Legislature and Governor. Despite starting off as one of the worst sessions for weakening environmental protections, the 2014 legislative session ended up being a bit better than expected – three terrible bills were vetoed, two were defeated in the Senate, and numerous bills died because they did not advance to a full vote in one house or the other. Several bills were amended to at least address some of Sierra Club’s concerns.

Governor Brewer had her best year yet on Sierra Club’s report card, earning a “C+,” as she vetoed two anti-wolf bills and a bill that would have harmed wilderness areas, plus she signed into law a small funding measure for State Parks. 

“It is appalling that Arizona legislators continue to try to harm wildlife by limiting the recovery of endangered wolves and weakening habitat protections, plus show no respect for federal public lands or federal environmental laws,” said Sandy Bahr, chapter director of Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “This year, however, the Legislature’s attempts to limit recovery of Mexican gray wolves were thwarted when Governor Brewer vetoed both SB1211 and HB2699, as was an attempt to bulldoze wilderness areas contained in HB2541, another bill she vetoed.”

Senators defeated HB2700 federal acquisition; state lands; monitoring (Thorpe), an attempted federal public land grab by legislators. It would have required the State Land Department to identify which state trust lands have been transferred to the federal government since statehood and then would have required compensation from the federal government, even though most of these areas were acquired via land exchanges. It also directed the Legislature and Attorney General to take all steps to recover and acquire these state lands.

Legislators did not pass any of the attacks on clean energy but also did nothing to help promote energy efficiency or roof-top solar.

“Arizona legislators should be supporting and promoting solar energy and energy efficiency programs,” said Bahr. “Instead, our legislature continues to promote energy sources such as coal that pollute our air and water and contribute to climate change, while our state has more than 300 days of sunshine. Each session, legislators generate attacks on energy efficiency, even though it is the cleanest and cheapest energy resource. It is past time for those attacks to stop and for efforts to support clean energy to advance.”

Surprisingly enough, legislators did not re-enact the voter suppression and anti-citizen initiative provisions in HB2305, a measure the Legislature passed in the 2013 session. Because of the anti-democracy provisions in HB2305, a broad coalition of interests organized a referendum on the bill. Voters signed petitions to stop HB2305 and refer it to the ballot. Rather than see HB2305 on the ballot as a referendum, legislators repealed it early in the 2014 session.

The Legislature did undermine enforcement of election laws by limiting the Clean Elections Commission’s ability to enforce non-Clean-Elections violations. It remains to be seen if this bill, SB1344 contribution limits; clean elections authority (Pierce: Biggs), will withstand a legal challenge, however. 

This year, all 36 Republican House members received failing grades, as did 13 senators, meaning they voted correctly on two or fewer bills. On a positive note, six representatives earned an “A+,” which means they voted 100 percent pro-environment and also did not miss a vote on the key bills Sierra Club scored. Ten senators and 13 House members also received an “A.”  

Senators were graded using 12 bills, and House members were graded using 11 bills. Governor Jan Brewer was graded on eight bills. Everyone was graded on a curve. The bills focused on Mexican gray wolves, public lands, land use, importation of waste, elections, and citizen initiatives, among other issues. 

Sierra Club is one of the country’s oldest grassroots environmental organization with more than 35,000 members and supporters in Arizona as part of the Grand Canyon Chapter.  At the end of each legislative session, the Grand Canyon Chapter develops its report card in order to inform Arizonans about their legislators’ voting records on key environmental issues.

The Sierra Club report card is available on the website at http://www.arizona.sierraclub.org or go directly to this link 2014 Environmental Report Card.

###

Name Bill Issue Status Our Position
Mexican wolf; taking; reporting SB1211 Wildlife 05/05/2014 - SB1211 and HB2699 were vetoed by the Governor. SB1212 did not advance. SCR1006 passed. oppose
  action needed on SB1211: Please thank Governor Brewer for vetoing HB2699 and SB1211. Use the link or phone number below. Find out more.
endangered species programs; rescission; reimbursement HB2699 Wildlife 05/05/2014 - Governor Brewer vetoed it! oppose
  action needed on HB2699: Please thank Governor Brewer for vetoing HB2699 and another anti-wolf bill, SB1211. Find out more.
funding ballot measures; reauthorization HCR2018 Ballot Measures 05/05/14 - It was never heard in the Senate Rules Committee, so died for the session. oppose
  action needed on HCR2018: No action is needed as this bill died. Find out more.
federal land; emergency access HB2541 Public Lands 05/05/2014 - Governor Brewer vetoed it! oppose
  action needed on HB2541: Please thank Governor Brewer for vetoing HB2541. Find out more.
water protection fund; mesquite; tamarisk SB1478 Water--Stream Flow 05/05/2014 - It was signed by the Governor. oppose
  action needed on SB1478: No action is required at this time. The bill has unfortunately been signed into law. Find out more.
ballot measures; proposition 105 disclosure HB2014&SB1293 Ballot Measures 05/05/2014 - The language was removed from SB1293 and HB2014 was never heard in Senate Rules Committee. oppose
  action needed on HB2014&SB1293: HB2014 died for this session, so no action is needed currently. Find out more.
Now: forest health management HB2343 Forests 05/05/2014 - It was signed by the Governor. no position
  action needed on HB2343: With the removal of the immunity language, we were neutral on the bill. No action is needed. Find out more.
federal acquisition; state lands; monitoring HB2700 State Trust Lands 05/05/2014 - It failed in the Senate. oppose
  action needed on HB2700: No action is needed. Find out more.
Now: unsubdivided land; definition SB1215 Land Use 05/05/2014 - It was signed by the Governor. oppose
  action needed on SB1215: No action is needed as the bill has been signed. Find out more.
aquifer protection permits; post closure procedure SB1274 Water--Aquifer Protection 05/05/2014 - It was signed by the Governor. oppose
  action needed on SB1274: No action is requested at this time. Find out more.
municipalities; counties; energy efficient codes SB1227 Energy 05/05/2014 - It was never Third Read in the Senate, so it died for the session oppose
  action needed on SB1227: No action is needed currently as the bill is dead. Find out more.
municipalities; counties; wildland-urban interface regulation HB2578 Forests 05/05/2014 - It passed out of the House and was never heard in the Senate. support
  action needed on HB2578: The bill is dead, so no action is needed. Find out more.
election law amendments; repeal SB1270 Elections 05/05/14 - The Senate substituted HB2196 and voted it out along party lines. The Governor signed it. oppose
  action needed on SB1270: No action is needed currently as the Governor signed the repeal. Find out more.

Other Sessions

If you are not sure who your legislators are, please click on Legislative Districts or call the House or Senate information desks.  To email legislators click here.  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).  Correspondence goes to 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ85007-2890.  For more information on legislation go to Arizona Legislature 
   
   

© copyright Sierra Club 1892-2014