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Q. What is political theater?

A. Political stunt, a type of publicity stunt intended to sway public opinion on a political issue.

The state legislature has become a place of performance art. The skinny budget passed along partisan lines in both the Senate and House was nothing more than political posturing by the majority party. The governor asked them for a bipartisan budget that would help meet the state’s growing needs. Instead, they submitted last year’s budget without any input from the minority party, nor the governor's office.

Rather than address real issues the state faces, they have been putting forth bills sure to get the veto stamp. Why? The outrageous nature of many bills have been energizing the far right base and used as a fundraising tool.

What’s the status of some of the bills from LD3.

Sen. Kavanagh sponsored 86 bills including the 13 skinny budget bills. 45 are still active with 4 already passing a Floor vote. Three are given here.

1014 allows eyeglass/lens prescriptions to be valid for 2 years unless a condition dictates a period of time less than 2 years is advisable.

Status: The bill passed a Floor vote unanimously and is ready to be transferred to the House.

SB1026 prohibits the use of state money for drag shows where minors may be present. Prohibits public jurisdictions from using private money for a drag show where a minor may be present.

Drag show is defined as: dressing in clothing and makeup opposite of the performers' gender at birth to exaggerate gender signifiers and roles; and engaging in singing, dancing or a monologue or skit in order to entertain a target audience of persons under 18 years of age. The bill is aimed at libraries holding drag story hours but will catch many other types of performances in its broad definition.

Status: passed the Senate Government Committee 2 weeks ago. Bill is NOT on Monday’s Rule’s Committee agenda yet.

SB1040 public schools must make “reasonable accommodations” for a person unwilling to use the restroom that mirrors their biological sex at birth. Accommodations could include a single occupancy restroom, changing room or employee facility. Grants a private cause of action against the school by a person who might encounter someone of the “opposite sex” (trans student) in a multi-use bathroom or changing facility.

Status: passed Education committee on Feb. 15 and is scheduled for Rules on Feb. 20th.

Rep. Kolodin sponsored 19 bills this session. 4 bills are still progressing. One is presented here.

HB2325 contains a striker amendment to his original bill. The striker replaced the original language with new content changing the procedures by which a qualified voter in a jail may vote. Rep. Kolodin states the intent is to make sure those eligible to vote in jail, who may be waiting for trial or not convicted of a felony, are able to vote securely. Unfortunately some of the bill’s content goes against jail policy. The provisions in the bill do not change the current system for the better. Amendments would need to be added to the striker to comply with jail rules. Rep. Kolodin had not met with jail/county officials to discuss the changes proposed.

Status: The bill passed the Elections Committee and could be in the Rules Committee this week.

Rep. Chaplik sponsored 5 bills this session. 2 bills are still progressing.

HB2555 requires all businesses to accept cash. While this may sound reasonable, many companies' storefronts are completely cashless by company policy.

Status: The bill has passed all Committees and could be scheduled for a Floor vote this week.

HCR 2039 amends the Arizona State Constitution to change the state of emergency extension process. While the governor could still call a state of emergency, the legislature would need to convene for a special session to decide if the emergency should be extended beyond the 30 days.

Status: The bill passed the Government Committee and awaits a hearing in Rules.

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