Capitol roundup: Abortion, protests, signed bills and updates
The governor signed a total of 19 bills this week, five Senate bills and 14 House bills.
Ducey signed a bill on Monday to decommission the two remaining photo radar cameras on state highways in El Mirage and Star Valley. SB 1241 was the only photo enforcement ban bill that passed this year.
On Thursday, Ducey signed HB 2059 adding his name to the list of persons who have access to records from Department of Child Safety but prevents him from disclosing information unless its already public record or court ordered.
HB 2442 became law on Thursday after Ducey signed the emergency measure establishing deadlines and penalties for a Regional Behavioral Health Authority to provide behavioral health services to foster and adoptive children. It protects foster parents from the costs incurred if treatment isn’t provided within 21 days of the initial evaluation.
Ducey also signed SB 1228 removing the ignition interlock device requirement for DUI offenders charged while under the influence of drugs. However it still gives judges discretion to require the device.
Anti-immigration protests return to the Capitol
Only two of the five bills labeled as “anti-immigration” by protesters last month at the Capitol still await a decision from the legislature.
HB 2451 and SB 1377 would prohibit the release or deportation of undocumented immigrants before serving a maximum sentence for crimes whereas now those persons can be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after serving half of their sentence.
Opponents of the bills exercised their First Amendment rights this week at the Capitol, first with a small news conference on Monday proceeded by a much larger rally of protesters on Wednesday.
Both bills were criticized for polarizing Latinos, damaging Arizona’s reputation and increasing incarceration costs. Comparisons were also made to SB 1070 and controversial immigration policies professed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Victoria Lopez, legal director of ACLU of Arizona, said, “SB 1377 would put Arizona at the forefront of anti-immigration lawmaking and move the state in the wrong direction of criminal justice reforms.”
HB 2451 passed the House by a 17-12 vote nearly split down party lines. It now moves to the governor’s desk. SB 1377 was assigned to a House Appropriations committee but no decisive action has been taken.
Lawmakers decided to move forward with a bill expanding the illegal uses of embryos and human fetuses resulting from abortions.
SB 1474 passed a House vote on Thursday and heads back to the Senate for a final vote before being transmitted to the governor.
The bill makes it a crime to sell, transfer, distribute or accept any human fetus, embryo or fluids from either part.
District 12 Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, supports SB 1474 and said, “The issue is whether we are doing something inappropriate” by harvesting tissue from aborted fetuses.
Opponents of the bill don’t think so arguing the fetal tissue is a key component in medical research to help advance medical practices and treatments.
SB 1381- allows wineries to apply for a one-year direct shipment license so customers can get bottles of their favorite vino delivered to their front door. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday. It now moves to the governor.
SB 1474 – failed to pass the House on Thursday by a 19-40 vote preventing agencies from denying a public records request considered to be “unduly burdensome or harassing.” Opponents said it gives agencies too easy of a loophole to reject legitimate requests. The bill is officially dead, maybe next year.
SB 1197 – requires schools to teach cursive again so students can produce a legible cursive document by fifth grade. It failed a vote in the House last week but upon reconsideration a 31-28 passed the bill on Thursday. It needs final approval from the Senate before going to the governor.
David McGlothlin is the Bolles Fellow from the University of Arizona covering the legislature for Arizona Sonora News. Reach him at email@example.com.