Legislative Update for Mar. 27th, 2017

The Republicans passed and the governor signed HB2404, which makes it significantly more difficult for average citizens to raise money and pay to collect signatures to put an initiative on the ballot. 

Please have a look at this articlethis article and maybe even this article (if you are really in to this kind of thing) for more information about the changes in the law.

The 25% to 30% increase in the cost to collect signatures will be merely an annoyance to the out-of-state big money interests that the proponents of the law claim to dislike. But, for the average citizen, the increased cost and hurdles to collect signatures will disenfranchise us further from our political process.

The Chamber of Commerce and Arizona Public Service were big proponents of this law and helped push it through. In the spirit of many such laws, these and other anti-initiative actors continue to reserve lawmaking for the well-connected, monied interests in the state. 

This development illustrates what we are up against. I stand up to these monied interests and I need your help to keep up the fight. Because, you know. They don't like when I do that. 

We are already raising funds for the 2018 election, because we know the fight that is coming. Please make a contribution of any level at this link on my website.

Thank you!

News Around the District
1) The LD24 Dems meet every second Thursday of the month at 7pm. Stay tuned to this Facebook page for updates.

2) If you want an example of an incredible group that has emerged as a leader in grass roots organizing, have a look at Stronger Together AZ. These folks are organizing meetings and actions all over the state. Have a look at their Facebook page. It is a closed group to keep trolls out. But if you ask nicely, they will let you in.

3) I'll be doing my next fundraiser on April 22nd at the Grand Central Coffee Company. Here's the link. It will be a brunch with a lot of my friends who are also realtors. You are welcome to join. I promise to keep them from trying to sell you homes. 

4) Michael Reyes, the owner of Paz taco truck had his food truck repossessed. Michael is the generous food truck genius who fed the homeless from his food truck, seen in this article. Michael is trying to raise money to start his next venture, via Kickstarter. Learn more here and help him out. He deserves it!

5) Among the many groups out there helping to organize the resistance is The Desert Dissenter. This group has focused its skills on simply being a source of information for the state. Check out their extensive calendar of events. Great work, folks!

Brain Food
BudVidoe.png1) Melinda Merkel Iyer, Citizen Researcher for the Peoplehas come out with her latest update of key bills at the capitol. This is a quick read and a great way to familiarize yourself with the bills running through the process. I suggest having a look at my video on understanding the budget process at the capitol, too. Its under 3 minutes, so you can watch while you wait for that Hot Pocket you just put in the microwave to get to the appropriate mouth-scalding temperature. 

2) Three of the four bills that I was pushing hard are effectively dead; laid to rest by the committee chairs that would not hear them in the senate. Those that died were:

HB2054, which would have required any out-of-state corporation that intends to spend money in campaigns in Arizona to first register with the Corporation Commission. 

HB2055, which would have made it easier for you to fix any defects on your ballot after you've voted. 

HB2074, which appropriates $200,000 for historic preservation at the State Fair Grounds, such as the 1938 WPA building. 

To be clear, HB2074 is not completely dead, as an idea. Appropriations bills like this rarely make it through the process because it is understood that they are kind of like suggestions for the budget process. They serve as a vote of confidence from our members for the people behind closed doors who put together the budget.  Hopefully they will see that such ideas are popular and they include them in the budget.

I encourage you to call the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and ask them to include money in the budget to preserve the historic structures at the State Fair Grounds.

HB2321 is still alive. It eliminates the practice of "cumulative voting" in home owner associations, by which one owner can stack his or her votes for one board position. It is awaiting floor debate in the Senate, as it passed out of committee unanimously. This is clearly a bi-partisan issue. 

3) Here's an article from The Hill that I'm quoted in on how GOP governors may be systemically attempting to coalesce power in the hands of the governors by making unprecedented changes to state laws. In AZ, we've seen the elimination of boards and commissions, as well as a bit-o-court packing. 

Baldwin.png3) I saw an incredible documentary this last week at Film Bar downtown. This academy award-nominated documentary is called I am Not Your Negro. In addition to being an intriguing and enlightening look in to the civil rights era (and how little has changed), it speaks to the brilliance of James Baldwin as a social commentator and observer of the times. I'm not sure when it will be on one of the movie rental platforms. But, when you see it, watch it. Let me know what you think.

4) Here's a really handy and easy-to-understand explanation of the Trump budget proposal. It puts in to perspective how little Trump will solve our budget problems. Indeed, while eliminating important programs, he will just make it worse.