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HIDING BEHIND PROCEDURE


A little background:

·        Bills or resolutions can only be introduced in both the State House and Senate for a prescribed amount of time. After the bill introduction deadline, a lawmaker must ask for the rules to be suspended to forward a bill or resolution that did not go through the usual process.

·        In 2023 a procedure rule in the House of Representatives was changed. Rule 31 states the Speaker of the House must now be among the majority voting to agree with the motion to suspend rules in order for the motion be put to a vote.

·        In January 2024 a bill was sponsored in the House to repeal state revised statute 13-3603. Doing so would be a clean repeal of the 1864 abortion law. The bill HB2677 never received a Hearing but was introduced and read twice.

·        No repeal bill was introduced in the senate in January.

·        It takes a simple majority of those present to pass a motion in either chamber. A tie vote fails a motion.


ON WEDNESDAY APRIL 17TH


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Rep. Stephane Stahl Hamilton made a motion to suspend the rules to bring her bill HB2677 directly to a vote, bypassing the usual hearings. 

*  Speaker Toma did not agree with the motion. The Speaker Pro-tempore (the representative who was presiding over the session at the time), Travis Grantham, cited rule 31 and ruled the motion would not be brought for a vote.

*  The democrats immediately challenged the ruling by the Chair Pro-tempore and asked for a role call vote. A vote was taken to overrule the Chair. Vote was 30/30. Although Rep. Matt Gress-R voted with Dems the needed 50% plus 1 was not reached to overrule the chair so the original motion was defeated.

*  Another democrat immediately stood to make the same motion a second time. That motion was challenged but the chair allowed the vote. Again, it did not pass with a 30/30 vote.

*  At least one other republican had stated if the bill were on the floor he would support it but would not vote against his leadership in helping it get to the floor.

Until another attempt is made next week, no action to repeal the 1864 abortion rule is alive in the House.        See the archived video beginning at minute 43 and 8 seconds.  link


IN THE SENATE

Since no senate bill had been previously sponsored to repeal the 1864 abortion law, the options were not the same.  This is confusing so try to keep up!

*  Senator Anna Hernandez-D made a motion to suspend the rules and introduce a new bill, SB1734. This is a clean repeal of the 1864 law. The motion asked to have the bill first read, then second read when the senate next meets and finally to take a vote at the third session, as required by rules.

*  Senator Kern immediately popped up and offered a substitute motion to table the first motion. The vote to table failed with Senators Shope and Bolick voting with democrats not to table the first motion.

* Not being one to take defeat lightly, Kern immediately made another substitute motion to recess. Again, his motion failed as Senators Shope and Bolick voted with democrats.

*  Since he just does not know when to quit, Kern then made yet another substitute motion to adjourn. This motion was met with an objection by the democrats. The motion stated Kern was not allowed to make the third substitute motion. The chair overruled the democrats and the motion to adjourn was voted. It was defeated with the same two republican votes.

* Finally, with no more objections to the original motion to introduce the new abortion repeal bill, a vote was taken and the motion passed!

*  The bill had its first reading before the floor session ended.

*  If the bill should make it as far as a vote in the Senate and actually pass, it would still need to be passed by the House. Speaker Toma has the power to ignore it and not bring it for a vote.

If you found this difficult to follow, take a look at the session video starting at time marker 21 minutes 40 seconds link

 

Note 1: with both chambers only meeting on Wednesdays, the soonest the senate bill can be voted would be May 1st unless they change the meeting schedule.

Note 2: Sen. Bolick, whose vote allowed the senate to introduce the repeal bill, is married to Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick who voted to keep the 1864 abortion law on the books in Arizona.

Note 3: LD3 Rep. Alex Kolodin posted on social media that the GOP alternative to the Abortion Access Act Initiative was coming soon.  

 

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