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2006 Legislative Session

“Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people.”  
       - F.M. Hubbard

August 5, 2006

Hello Conservation Friends!  The 2006 Legislative Session ended in June and on July 11, we released our annual Environmental Report Card for the Arizona Legislature and the Governor.  It officially marks the end of the session.  Unless the Legislature goes into Special Session, there will probably not be any postings to this page until December.  We will all be busy trying to elect a more environmentally friendly legislature -- and congress too.  Below, is the news release for our Report Card.  Please see our main web page to view the complete Report Card or just click on  http://www.arizona.sierraclub.org/political_action/pa_2006/report/2006EnvironmentalReportCard.pdf.

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 11, 2006

Contacts:     Sandy Bahr, Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter, (602) 253-8633Kate Whalen, Arizona League of Conservation Voters (602) 279-8431

 

2006 Legislative Session — Mean and not so green

Legislature does nothing to address important water, air quality and land-use issues

Small steps to promote solar energy and pesticide notification, limit wildlife feeding

PHOENIX – A lengthy and generally nasty legislative session produced little in real conservation according to a score card and a report card released today by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter.

“Most Arizonans agree that we have serious water and land-use issues in our state, yet the Arizona Legislature continues to ignore them,” said Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “While we are pleased that there was some limited progress on supporting solar energy and protecting children from pesticides, the big issues are not being tackled.”

 “Air quality is a major issue for many Arizonans,” said Kate Whalen, Government Relations Liaison with the Arizona League of Conservation Voters.  "Rather than addressing this serious public health matter and improving air quality protections, the Legislature instead passed a measure to make it easier for companies to continue to emit large amounts of hazardous air pollutants.  Fortunately, the Governor used her veto authority to deep-six that bad idea.”

The Sierra Club Environmental Report Card gave 15 Senators and 21 House members a failing grade, including Representatives Colette Rosati, Eddie Farnsworth and Senator Linda Gray, who were recommended for a trip “Back to the Minors” for being at the bottom of the list.  Representatives Rosati and Farnsworth also made it to the bottom of the League’s Scorecard, along with Senators Ron Gould, Jack Harper and Karen Johnson.

Also, 14 lawmakers scored a 100 percent on the League’s Scorecard and the Sierra Club recognized four Lawmakers as Session “All Stars” for getting a perfect score and therefore an A-plus on the Report Card.  They include Senator Paula Aboud, Senator Jorge Garcia, Representative Meg Burton Cahill and Representative Martha Garcia.

The major hits for the session included the passage of a pesticide notification measure that will require child care facilities to notify parents and guardians about when they are spraying pesticides and what they are using.  This will help them to make informed decisions about protecting their children.

Another hit was the passage of the measure to limit the feeding of wildlife.  While it was narrowed to apply to only Maricopa and Pima counties, it is a good start.  It will help with efforts to educate people about the problems associated with feeding wildlife and will provide an additional tool for sanctioning those who do not understand that their actions are harming wildlife and potentially harming people.

Legislators finally passed some additional incentives for solar energy. 

“With as much sunshine as Arizona has, you would think that investing in solar energy would be a no-brainer,” said Bahr.  “Instead, even with the Republican Party Chairman lobbying for solar energy, it was an enormous struggle to even get a modest measure through this Legislature.”

“From our perspective, we were especially disappointed with the state trust land reform measure that the Legislature passed this session,” said Whalen. “The sole purpose of the measure is to undermine the far more comprehensive citizens’ initiative, Conserving Arizona’s Future, by confusing voters at the ballot. This isn’t the kind of activity the peoples’ representatives should be engaging in.”

The League recognized Representatives Tom O’Halleran, Lucy Mason, Kyrsten Sinema, Pete Hershberger and Leah Landrum Taylor, as well as Senator Toni Hellon as Conservation Heroes for the 2006 legislative session.

The Sierra Club also recognized Senator Toni Hellon as a “Most Valuable Player” for her successful effort to pass a bill to limit the feeding of wildlife.  Representative Kyrsten Sinema was also recognized for her strong efforts to promote clean air and adequate water for all Arizonans and citizen participation in government.  Senator Bill Brotherton was recognized as an “Environmental Hall of Famer” for his eight years of support for environmental protection.

Both organizations were pleased that regulatory “takings” legislation was again defeated, although it looks like an initiative may put this ill-conceived legislation before voters this fall.

The Arizona League of Conservation Voters is a membership based, non-profit, non-partisan conservation advocacy organization. The League is committed to mobilizing voters to elect pro-conservation candidates, influencing legislation and policy, and holding elected officials accountable to their constituents. For more information on the Scorecard, please log on to www.azlcv.org.

The Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter is a grassroots environmental organization with more than 13,000 members in Arizona.  At the end of each legislative session it develops the report card in order to inform Arizonans about how their legislators are voting on environmental issues.  This year's grades are based on 15 House votes and 15 Senate votes on issues ranging from solar energy to limitations on wildlife feeding.  The governor was also graded on ten bills.  The Sierra Club report card is available at www.arizona.sierraclub.org.

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To get our weekly legislative alerts, send an email to sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org

To email legislators go to http://www.azleg.state.az.us/MemberRoster.asp.  If you are not sure who your legislators are, please go to http://www.vote-smart.org  (You will need your 9-digit zipcode.) or call the House or Senate information desks. 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, AZ 85007-2890. For more information on legislation go to http://www.azleg.state.az.us/.  Thank you for all your help and support!

Name Bill Issue Status Our Position
Pesticides; child care facilities; notification SB1350 Pesticides 06/01/06 - The Governor signed the bill today. Yay! support
  action needed on SB1350: Please call the Governor and thank her for signing this bill. Find out more.
hazardous air pollutants; de minimis SB1356 Air Quality 05/03/06 - It was vetoed by Governor Napolitano. oppose
  action needed on SB1356: Please contact Governor Napolitano and thank her for vetoing SB1356. To reach the Governor, call 602-542-4331 or toll free 1-800-253-0883. Her fax number is 602-542-1381. To email her, either click on the following link or cut and paste it into your server http://azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp. Her address is 1700 West Washington, 9th Floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85007. Find out more.
NOW: Private Property Rights Protection Act SCR1019 Land Use 06/22/06 - It was not heard in the House, but they tried to pass it as HCR2002. oppose
  action needed on SCR1019: This is dead. No action is needed. Find out more.
copper state park SB1550 Public Lands 06/20/06 - It passed both houses and is on its way to the Governor. oppose
  action needed on SB1550: It is doubtful that the Governor would veto this bill as she is supporting the land swap. Find out more.
NOW: illegal hunting; penalties HB2129 Wildlife 05/03/06 - This was signed by the Governor. support
  action needed on HB2129: Please thank the Governor for signing this bill. Find out more.
forest health HB2826 Forests 06/12/06 - This bill is dead for the session. oppose
  action needed on HB2826: No action is needed as the bill is now dead. It will probably be back next session, however. Find out more.
NOW: mining reclamation act HB2317 Land Use 05/05/06 - It was signed by the Governor. oppose
  action needed on HB2317: No action is required as the bill has been signed. Find out more.
structural pest control: licensure exemption SB1221 Pesticides 05/09/06 - It was signed by the Governor. oppose
  action needed on SB1221: No action needed as it will now become law. We may work with the applicators to narrow this a bit next year. Find out more.
campaign finance revisions SCR1013 Elections 06/22/06 - The bill is dead. oppose
  action needed on SCR1013: No action is needed. The bill is dead and the session is over. Find out more.
tax credit; energy efficient products HB2843 Energy 06/22/06 - It was never heard in the Rules Committee, so the bill died. support
  action needed on HB2843: This bill is dead for the session, so no action is needed. Find out more.
wildlife habitat restoration committee; appropriation SB1441 Wildlife 06/22/06 - It passed and was signed by the Governor. oppose
  action needed on SB1441: No action is needed as the bill has passed and will become law. Find out more.
state trust land reform HCR2045 State Trust Lands 06/22/06 - It passed out of Senate 16-13-1 and the House 36-20-4. oppose
  action needed on HCR2045: This will be on the ballot in the fall, so please oppose it. Find out more.
solar energy tax incentives HB2429 Energy 06/22/06 - It passed both houses and was signed by the Governor. support
  action needed on HB2429: No action is needed. It will become law 90 days after the end of the session. Find out more.
regulation of off-highway vehicles SB1508 Off-road Vehicles 03/23/06 - It was defeated in the Senate 12-17-1. oppose
  action needed on SB1508: No action is currently needed on this bill. Find out more.
regional water planning HB2294 Water--Supply 04/06/06 - The bill is dead for the session. support
  action needed on HB2294: No action is needed as the bill is dead. You might ask your legislators what they are doing about water issues., however. Find out more.
food and agricultural security SCR1035 Agriculture 03/15/06 - It failed in the Senate Committee of the Whole 12-15. oppose
  action needed on SCR1035: Find out more.
chemical fire response; task force HB2291 Toxics 06/12/06 - The bill is dead. It was never heard in Senate Rules support
  action needed on HB2291: No action is needed as the bill is dead. Find out more.
constitutional amendments; single subject SCR1008 Other Legislation 03/31/06 - will be heard next week, but changed to a different issue. oppose
  action needed on SCR1008: No action is needed as they did a strike everything to change the bill. Find out more.
unlawful feeding of wildlife SB1438 Wildlife 03/31/06 - It was never heard in Judiciary, so is dead unless it is amended onto another bill. support
  action needed on SB1438: No action is needed currently as the bill is dead. You might call your legislators and let them know you support this, however. Find out more.
environment; citizen suits HB2369 Other Legislation 03/24/06 - It failed in House Environment Committee in February. support
  action needed on HB2369: Find out more.
Hazardous Disclosure; property HB2108 Toxics 03/23/06 - It was never heard in the Environment Committee and is dead. support
  action needed on HB2108: Find out more.
NOW: compensation; land use regulation HCR2031 Land Use 03/24/06 - HCR2031 was defeated in the House 26-29-5. oppose
  action needed on HCR2031: Please call House members who voted no and thank them for opposing this bill. You can find them at http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/47leg/2r/bills/hcr2031.hthird.1.asp Find out more.
stagnant water; pest control; notice HB2036 Pesticides 03/31/06 - It had a strike everything amendment in Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee. no position
  action needed on HB2036: Find out more.
   
   

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