To: Conservation Friends From: Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director, Sierra Club Date: March 29, 2002 Re: Legislative Update #11 Hi all! This week the Legislature began in earnest to pass along some of the worst legislation from both an environmental and public interest perspective. Several of the anti-initiative bills moved forward, measures to give developers more power (as if they needed it) passed, and of course measures to protect welfare ranching rolled through. I continue to be amazed by the influence of the cattlemen at the Capitol (perhaps they have a collection of "photos" of key leaders in this state.) SB1274 state land; leases and improvements (Martin, Brown, Arzberger, Guenther) passed on reconsideration in the Senate (19-11). It is now headed to the House where it will be a difficult task indeed to defeat it. Please call and thank the following senators for voting no on the bill: Cummiskey, Gerard, Hartley, Lopez, Mitchell, Richardson, Rios, Solomon, Valadez, Verkamp and Yrun. And regarding another bill, brought to us by our friends the cowboys, please call House members and ask them to oppose HB2638. The bill was amended to say that if any county adopts a conservation regulation that causes a reduction in use or value of property of ten percent or more then that is considered a taking and the property owner is entitled to compensation. If HB2638 passes, it will result in a lot more litigation and will be costly to counties (county taxpayers) that are trying to plan and zone for conservation and protect the quality of life in their communities. The bill is now clearly aimed at undercutting conservation efforts as well as Pima County's Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. It is also probably unconstitutional. Please ask House members to vote no on HB2162 state land; planning and administration (Flake, Gleason, Guenther, et al). It will promote more sprawl on state trust lands. And how is that in the best interest of the trust? The bill makes numerous changes to the urban lands act. It says leapfrog development and sprawl are fine with the land department as long as it is in the cities' or counties' plans. This will probably go to the House Floor this week. Bill Updates: HB2048 game and fish commission; continuation (O'Halleran, Burton Cahill, Clark, et al) continues the game and fish commission and director until 2012. It has been stuck in the Senate for several weeks -- makes me wonder if shenanigans are afoot. Perhaps they are planning to just fold the agency into the Department of Agriculture. HB2105 county infill incentives (Huffman, Hershberger, Valadez, et al) allows counties to establish infill areas where they can provide for infill incentives. This can help limit sprawl and encourage development in areas where the infrastructure already exists. Despite a somewhat inane amendment by Salt River Project, the bill is still positive and it is moving forward to the Senate Floor. HB2501 emissions testing; motorcycles (Cooley, Giffords, Chase, et al) has a strike everything amendment that says ADEQ must ask EPA to exempt motorcycles and collectable vehicles from the emissions testing requirements. That means the agency must request this exemption irrespective of its findings. We think there should be some language that indicates that the Department make this request only if it determines that continuing the emissions testing of these vehicles does not provide a significant air quality benefit. The bill will probably go to the Floor this week. SB1329 referendum; required signatures (Mitchell: Arzberger, Brown et al) authorizes the use of an alternative basis for computing the number of necessary signatures required to file a referendum petition in a municipal election. It would effectively allow cities and towns to change the basis for calculating the number of signatures from 10% of the people who voted at the last election to 10% of ALL registered voters in the city or town. These numbers would be overwhelming. It takes away one more tool that citizens' have to stop measures at the local level. It passed out of the Senate 18-9-3. SB1354 protected development rights; procedures (Guenther, Brown, Weiers, et al) allows cities and towns to establish an ordinance to give a protected development right without indicating it is a protected development right up front. This will give developers additional leverage in a process where they already have enormous power and will not serve the interests of the public and the public's need for information. This sailed out of the Senate this week. SB1368 navigable stream adjudication commission; continuation (Guenther, Arzberger, Brown, et al) continues this commission until 2006. The state has been irresponsible with our streambeds and its public trust responsibility -- it has had 17 years to establish navigability and determine ownership of the streambeds. Instead of really addressing the issue, the legislature and this commission have tried repeatedly to give away these streambeds. We think they should get on with it and fear that this bill will just mean more delays. This goes to the House now. HCR2029 tax increase by initiative; vote (Farnsworth, Pearce, Pierce, et al) refers to the ballot a measure that requires that any initiative or referendum that provides for a net increase in state revenues is effective only with a two thirds vote. Basically, it would prevent anything like the Heritage Fund, which is widely supported by the public, from ever happening again. This failed in the House Ways and Means Committee 4-6, but we need to watch for reconsideration of this as well. Please thank Representatives Camarot, Cheuvront, Giffords, Huffman, Landrum Taylor, and Leff for opposing it. HCR2036 initiative; appropriations; return to ballot (Marsh, Johnson; Blendu) says that any measure that allocates money from the general fund has to be submitted again to the voters every ten years. This was reconsidered in the House Committee on Military, Veteran Affairs and Aviation and passed 6-4. Please thank Representatives Chase, Lopez, Lugo, and Sedillo for opposing this bill. Coming up in the legislature this week: Several committees are not meeting including Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee, House Environment, and House Natural Resources and Agriculture. MONDAY House Committee on Appropriations at 9:00 a.m. in HHR1 HB2560 air quality fund; control measures (Gullett, Huffman, Loredo, et al) continues the new vehicle emissions in lieu fee for an air quality fund. The funds can be used for air quality research for improving or maintaining attainment status and specifically reducing emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, and hazardous air pollutants. WE SUPPORT IT. TUESDAY Senate Committee on Judiciary at 1:30 p.m. in SHR1 HCR2012 State lottery; continuation (Allen, O'Halleran, Huffman et al) refers to the ballot a continuation of the lottery. As this is the only state based funding for many wildlife and parks programs via the Heritage Fund, we strongly support its continuation. WEDNESDAY House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology at 9:00 a.m. in HHR5 SB1117 school buses; alternative fuels (Smith: Bennett) is a measure which exempts schools from meeting alternative fuel goals for school buses. WE OPPOSE IT. Thanks for all your help! For more information on legislation go to the web page at www.azleg.state.az.us . To email legislators go to http://www.arizonasenate.org/members.html for the senate and to http://www.azleg.state.az.us/members/45leg/house.htm for the house. If you are not sure who your legislators are, please go to www.vote-smart.org or call the House or Senate information desks. If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislator's office toll free at 1-800-352-8404. In the Phoenix area call (602) 542-3559 (Senate) or (602) 542-4221 (House). Correspondence goes to 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890. Sandy Bahr Conservation Outreach Director Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter 202 E. McDowell Rd, Suite 277 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone (602) 253-8633 Fax (602) 258-6533 grand.canyon.chapter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx ________________________________________________________________ GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO! Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less! Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/. You are subscribed to AZ-LEADER. To post to this mailing list, simply send email to az-leader@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx To unsubscribe, send email to az-leader-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field.