Monday, February 17, 2020

Request to Speak Action: Bad Water Bills, the ACC and others

The State Legislature is now in session. You can weigh in on bills that are currently being heard in committee through the Request to Speak system on their website.  

If you are not signed up for Request to Speak, here are two ways to do that.

1) Go to and fill out the form with your e-mail address and legislative district. The Civic Engagement rep will sign you up and then e-mail a login pin number that you can use to create a password. Do that right away before it expires. 

(You can find your legislative district by putting your zip code in the district locator. )

2) To do it yourself... go to Request to Speak to set up an account, just select "Create An Account" and fill out the information. Then you will need to go to the Tucson legislative offices at 400 W. Congress, Suite 201 to finish activating it. 

Here is a YouTube video on how to set up an account as well. 

Once you are signed up, you can support a bill with a thumbs up or oppose it with a thumbs down. You can also leave a short (one or two sentence) explanation. The Committee members actually review the Request to Speak submissions before making their final decisions. If they are on the fence, your input might help influence them.

Here are my directions on how to navigate the system. Once you've done it a couple times, it's super easy. You just need the Committee the date and time, and the bill number. After clicking on New Request, just cut and paste the bill number on the line provided. 

NOTE: You must submit your comment before the bill is heard in committee or while it is still being heard in committee. Once that meeting is over, it is too late. For example, before it comes to a vote at 2 o'clock. 

Here are some bills being heard in committee this week and the
Sierra Club's recommendations on how to weigh in.

Tuesday, February 18th

House Committee on Natural Resources, Energy, & Water at 2:00 PM 

HB2787 water; augmentation authority; special districts requires a county water augmentation authority to charge a voluntary assessment on certain lands within its active management area and allows county improvement districts to undertake water supply development. This seems like another recipe for unsustainable development. OPPOSE.

HB2818 adjudication; subflow wells; claim; priority codifies pumping surface water and attempts to give people a surface water right to water they have been pumping. OPPOSE.

HB2880 assured water supply; availability; plats limits what the Arizona Department of Water Resources can consider in determining whether water is physically available for purposes of determination of an assured water supply in the Pinal Active Management Area. This is more unsustainable water policy. OPPOSE.

Senate Committee on Transportation and Public Safety at 9:30 A.M. 

SB1369 vehicle fuels; infrastructure; legislative authority limits the Arizona Corporation Commission's ability to regulate electricity as a motor vehicle fuel. This appears to be a bill from the Western States Petroleum Association. OPPOSE.

House Committee on Commerce at 2:00 P.M. 

HB2841 municipal zoning; housing overlay would open up massive amounts of land for development and take away more local control while purporting to address affordable housing. It does not. OPPOSE. 

Wednesday, February 19th

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy at 2:00 P.M. 

SB1666 endangered species conservation; confidential information makes any data collected about endangered species by a state agency from a private property owner confidential and limits its disclosure to the public. This would include information that is part of a survey, other research, or as part of a conservation plan. If information is collected by the state for the public using public dollars, then the public should have access to that information. OPPOSE.

House Committee on Appropriations when floor adjourns 

HB2551 appropriation; state parks; heritage fund appropriates $10 million from the general fund for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund. SUPPORT.

Thursday, February 20th

House Committee on Government at 8:30 A.M. 

HCR2041 corporation commission; appointment; members  would refer to the ballot a measure to have corporation commissioners appointed instead of elected. This would not give us better, more accountable commissioners. We would be giving up one of our rights in the Arizona Constitition. OPPOSE.

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