Arizona's Democratic Lawmakers Going After "Dark Money"

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Matthew Hendley
Democrats in the Arizona House and Senate have unveiled a package of bills aimed at regulating so-called "dark money."

Arizona's been a hot-spot for the "dark money" issue, which involves organizations being able to dump millions of dollars into elections without having to reveal their donors -- so much so that former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has called the state the "Cayman Islands for dark money."

The package of bills proposed by Senator Martin Quezada and Representative Bruce Wheeler include tougher regulations on political spending, including disclosure of the top donors behind a group.

"In 2014, there was an estimate of $8.6 million in dark money spent in Arizona," Quezada tells New Times. "That's $8.6 million where nobody knows for sure where that money came from. A lot of races were decided by these expenditures."

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"Do Not Call" List for Politicians Proposed in Arizona

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Uberprutser
The national "do not call" registry can protect you from telemarketing calls, but one Arizona lawmaker wants you to have the option to avoid calls from pesky politicians, too.

Republican Senator John Kavanagh is proposing a political "do not call" list in the state, which would allow citizens of the state to opt out of pre-recorded "robo-calls" from politicians during election season.

"Complaints against street signs are dwarfed by the outrage that people have -- especially as you get to close to election day -- with the tsuani of recorded political calls their homes are swamped with," Kavanagh tells New Times.

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Arizona Bills Would Mandate Police Body Cameras, External Reviews of Shootings

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Chris Yarzab
A Democratic state representative is proposing mandatory body cameras on every police officer in the state, plus external reviews of any police shootings.

Representative Reginald Bolding, who represents parts of Phoenix, announced the legislation yesterday in response to constituent concerns about police shootings in Arizona and elsewhere.

"After having conversations in the community . . . there's been a call for public trust, transparency, and accountability on behalf of the law enforcement agencies," Bolding tells New Times.

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"Yes Means Yes" Law Proposed by Some Arizona Lawmakers

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Nick Schweitzer
Some Democratic Arizona lawmakers have proposed a "yes means yes" policy at the state's universities that would require clear consent for any sexual activity.

A similar proposal was passed into law in California in an effort to combat what's been called a growing problem of sexual assaults on college campuses.

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Civics Test Could Soon Be Required for High School Graduation in Arizona

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Junius Brutus Stearns/TeachingAmericanHistory.org
George Washington (on platform) at the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
A proposal that would require Arizona high school students to pass a civics test before graduating may soon become a reality.

The test would require high school students to correctly answer 60 of the 100 questions asked of immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens, which includes general knowledge questions about the country, like who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the date of Tax Day.

The bill appears to be a hit among lawmakers.

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Some Arizona Republicans Want to Ban Use of Welfare Funds at Fast-Food Joints

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Maulleigh
At least three Republican lawmakers are looking to prevent welfare benefits from being spent at fast-food restaurants in Arizona.

The bill submitted by Republican Representative Kelly Townsend is one of a handful of bills submitted before this year's legislative session has begun. The legislation would ban the use of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which are linked to a person's assistance money, at "fast-food or quick-service" restaurants.

Townsend told KFYI's Mike Broomhead this morning, "This is basically saying that [fast food] is not a good use of taxpayer money . . a $7 meal can get you so much more at the grocery store that is healthy for you and lasts a lot longer."

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Arizona Lawmakers Propose Adopting Daylight Savings Time

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Paolo Neo
Some Arizona lawmakers are proposing that Arizona adopt daylight saving time.

Arizona's one of only two states where DST isn't observed (Hawaii is the other), and one of the bill's sponsors told us why he thinks it's time for Arizona to join the rest.

"My rationale is simply that it's harder to do business when we're on Pacific Time," Republican Representative Phil Lovas tells New Times.

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Arizona Lawmaker Proposes Civics Test as a Requirement for High School Graduation

Categories: I'm Only a Bill

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Matthew Hendley
Republican Representative Steve Montenegro (center) explains his proposal for requiring a civics test for high school graduation.
Republican Representative Steve Montenegro plans to introduce legislation that would require Arizona high school students to pass a civics test before graduating.

The test would be based on the 100-question exam that immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens must pass, which includes general knowledge questions about the country, like who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the date of Tax Day.

"How can we the people maintain or unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- rights that so many Americans have fought and died for -- if we're ignorant of these facts?" Montenegro said.

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Jan Brewer Vetoes Third Gun-Related Bill

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
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Gale82


Governor Jan Brewer has now acted on all six gun-related bills passed by the Legislature this session -- and vetoed half of them.

Earlier this week, Brewer vetoed two of the bills, one that would have allowed guns in more public buildings and another that would have created more restrictions against a city trying to make its own gun regulations. On Wednesday, Brewer vetoed a third gun-related bill, which would have made the act of trying to take someone's gun from them a crime of felony aggravated assault.

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Jan Brewer Vetoes New Tax Break for Religious Groups

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
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Matthew Hendley


Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy that would have created new property-tax exemptions for religious groups.

Legislative budget analysts predicted the bill could have cost the state an additional $2.1 million starting in 2016.

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