A: WHY, 31 REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE, OF COURSE!
The legislature reconvened on Tuesday April 25th from a week's recess minus the one vote the majority caucus needs to pass partisan bills. After a very tense House debate on overriding one of the governor’s vetoes, votes were taken on a few non-controversial bills and some partisan bills were inched along but not voted. The House leadership then announced they would recess again beginning after session on April 26th, the next day. Session will reconvene in both chambers on May 3rd. The Maricopa County Board Of Supervisors, who will pick the republican to fill the 31st spot, will not meet again until May 8th. Not too much activity is expected next week when the legislators return.
Tempers were high in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. HB2509 was put up on the board for an override vote to the governor’s veto. The bill addresses cottage industry food items. The bill would add hot items to the acceptable list of items that can be sold under “cottage industry”. Baked goods and cookies are an example of already accepted “cottage industry” items. The governor’s veto letter pointed to safety and sanitary concerns. While some democrats voted for the bill along with all republicans there was not a sufficient number to reach a 2/3 vote to override the governor.
A few Democrats voting for the bill cited their constituents’ lobbying to change the statute.
It is interesting to note that the bill has been dubbed the “Tamale” bill, yet all food, prepared and served hot, would be affected. Speaker Toma shared his distaste for the governor’s words in her veto letter when she cited the lack of sanitary conditions oversight in the bill. The speaker twisted words saying the governor was speaking to the Hispanic community and indicated the governor did not find them capable of providing acceptable conditions on their own. The bill did not mention any one food item nor did it mention any group. Words can be used as weapons and Speaker Toma’s words were nothing more than pitting a community against the governor. The bill was a Koch Brother creation and was backed by extreme deregulation groups.
100 bills signed and 64 bills vetoed
What's happening with LD3 legislators' bills?
Sen. Kavanagh had 5 noncontroversial bills pass out of the House on April 25th. After the senate reconvenes on May 3rd they will be sent to the governor from the senate. The senator also had 5 bills and one proclamation pass the House Committee of The Whole (COW). The COW vote sets the bills up for a final vote. Some of these bills are very partisan and will need the full 31 member majority party to be in attendance to pass. They, along with other bills will sit and wait.
No action on Rep. Kolodin’s remaining bills last week.
HB2555 the bill requiring all businesses to take cash is still waiting for a senate vote.
Both Reps. Kolodin and Chaplik, along with other House Freedom Caucus members, voted NO on a GOP sponsored bill to require coverage for preventative digital mammograms for women at risk for breast cancer as long as the insurance already covers mastectomies. Our Reps. were joined by 7 other QOP NO votes. SB1601 still passed as all Dems and 21 Republicans banded together. The bill will go to the governor next week. .
Now that Tamale troubles are probably over, we have bible-gate!
With so little to report this week, there is one oddity to mention. A lounge at the back of the House floor is frequented by representatives between votes or for quick, private conversations. Access is limited and representatives must invite a guest, usually a lobbyist, to the lounge. Looks like there are bibles available. A few weeks ago, a democrat, herself a minister, fed up with people misusing bible references, hid the bibles. She was trying to make a statement to separate church and state. No bibles were destroyed, they were hidden in the room. Coincidently as the bibles were replaced, they also installed cameras without telling members. Her action was discovered and she apologized at the beginning of session last week. It was the same day the floor session took an hour break and the majority party was invited to attend a bible study session over lunch!
It might have been easier to just ask her to stop rearranging bibles.