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AN UPHILL BATTLE

Updated: Mar 22




At a press conference on March 7th the governor expressed her dismay in the state legislative majority who refused to take up her policy priority of making contraception a right in Arizona.


On Wednesday March 13 motions were made, in both chambers, to suspend the rules to allow bills to come to a third read vote. Since the bills had not been heard in committees in either chamber they needed to waive the rules in order to have any chance of passing.


Both bills aimed to enshrine, in Arizona law, the right to contraception. SB1560 sponsored by Senator Sundareshan and HB2678 sponsored by Rep. Stahl-Hamilton had the same purpose: to guarantee a person has the right to obtain contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and a health professional has a corresponding right to provide contraceptives and information related to contraception.


Partisan votes killed both motions. The reason? The majority party sees no current challenge to contraception and therefore no reason to take action.


After the governor's press conference Senator Borrelli, the No. 2 Republican in the state senate, responded to a question about whether he would oppose future efforts to restrict access to emergency contraceptives by saying that women wouldn’t need contraceptives if they weren’t so promiscuous.


Senator Borrelli was quoted in the Arizona Mirror: “Like I said, Bayer Company invented aspirin. Put it between your knees.”


Nine bills have been sent to the governor. Two were signed. One was vetoed. Six are on her desk. During session a governor has 5 business days to sign or veto a bill. A third option is for the governor to take no action whereby a bill becomes law without a signature.


One bill on the governor's desk has people wondering how she will respond. HB2570 relaxes some stipulations on building affordable housing. It allows municipalities to relax some requirements on size and design. The bill passed with with modest margins. Votes were pretty much mixed in both chambers with affordable housing advocates voting YES.


The NO votes by both democrats and republicans were cast for different reasons. Dems weren't sure relaxing municipal codes was wise while republicans just don't want low income housing built, nor do they want municipalities making their own decisions. All three LD3 legislators voted NO.


March 22nd is the final day for bills to be heard in their committee of origin. It will be a long week for legislators.

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