A weekly legislative update from the Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus
Volume 2, Issue 1 Thursday, January 30
Welcome to the 2020 Legislative Session!
The 54th Legislature, Second Regular Session is underway and we are busy representing the people of Arizona and standing up for the Democratic ideals that we know can make Arizona a great place to live and thrive.
Things are moving fast this session, with Republicans making a push to pass a budget by the end of February - much sooner than usual. We are working on a budget of our own, which reflects the values Democrats have always stood for: schools that are fully supported, affordable access to healthcare, an environment that is protected for future generations, and equal opportunity for every Arizonan to succeed.
We'll be releasing our budget shortly and hope that this year, unlike the last decade, those in the majority will be willing to craft a truly bipartisan budget with us at the table.
Watch the first Canyonside Chat of the year with Senators David Bradley, Jamescita Peshlakai and Lupe Contreras!
Click to watch our first Canyonside Chat of the year
Senate and House Democratic caucuses presented their 2020 Blueprint for a Better Arizona at a press conference on Opening Day of the session. In this document we share our consensus vision to address challenges facing our fast-growing and evolving state including: investing in our children, fighting for equality, good jobs and workplace rights, protecting access to healthcare, rebuilding our infrastructure, and protecting voting rights. Click the image to read our Blueprint for a Better Arizona
“Bipartisan” bill count
Senate bills heard in Senate committees so far this session:
While Democrats hold 43 percent of seats in the Senate, our bills account for less than one percent of bills heard so far this session.
Senator Martin Quezada and Representative Randall Friese discussed the latest happenings at the State Capitol on Arizona Horizon. Click to watch!
Democratic state Sen. Martin Quezada, who represents a minority west Phoenix district, said the ballot harvesting law and other changes made by the GOP-controlled Legislature clearly target Democratic voters, although some Republicans also are affected.“All of it has been in an effort to really suppress who is able to vote,” he said. “And the ones that are impacted the most by those efforts are communities of color.”
“That bill is a deliberate and manipulative attempt to remove all sex education in our schools,” Senator Victoria Steele said, “That bill severely limits sex education for all from our schools by teaching abstinence only. It allows parents to sue the school districts, essentially making it so no school would even think of having sex education offered to their students because of a risk of lawsuits. Thus it would eliminate this lifesaving information and knowledge for our kids."
On January 24, members of the Arizona Indigenous Peoples Caucus expressed the group's opposition to a bill that would prevent tribes from negotiating and renewing their gaming compacts if they are currently involved in water-rights litigation with the state. Introduced by Representative Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, House Bill 2447 would leverage tribal gaming rights over tribal water rights.
State Senator Martin Quezada introduced a proposal that would remove the controversial bill entirely – a move that he believes is both symbolic and holds tangible ramifications for Latino residents of Arizona.
The name change announcement drew applause, but Democratic State Senator Tony Navarrete said he thinks Ducey’s announcement is like putting “lipstick on a pig.” “That’s all it is,” Navarrete said in an interview with Phoenix New Times. “A name change is not a plan. He’s not addressing these issues in terms of why our budget is so high with the Department of Corrections, why there’s so much turnover, why our sentences are so long and costing the public so much.”
Arizona Public Media: Arizona’s Democratic legislative leaders on goals for new session