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LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT 

Featured Items: Equal Rights Amendment 

ACTION NOW:
AZNOW speaks out against police misconduct, police brutality, and codemns all forms of racism in light of the tragic death of George Floyd. On Sunday, Governor Ducey declared a state of emergency with an 8PM curfew for the remainder of the week in response to recent protests on the issue. The Central Phoenix-Inez Casiano NOW chapter will be holding a third discussion on the Hulu and FX miniseries Mrs. America on Thursday, June 4th, from 5PM to 630PM MST. The discussion will center around episode 3 - "Shirley". You can register & learn more about the event here. The entire 6 episode series on the history of ERA can be viewed here.

The Arizona Senate refused to take up around 30 house bills on Tuesday and instead voted to end the legislative session. Special sessions are expected (which must be called by the Governor) to address COVID-19 and economic recovery related bills. On the National level, the U.S. House continued with online voting and virtual hearings while the Senate has resumed in-person meetings.

S.J. Res 6 (the bill to extend the deadine for the ERA) remains unsigned by McSally. We ask that you call and ask for her support and also call South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (chair of the judiciary committee) on Wednesdays and ask that he allow the bill to be heard. You can reach McSally at 1-602-952-2410 or at https://www.mcsally.senate.gov/contact_martha and Graham at 1-202-224-5972.

As facts on the ground have shown, women bear the heaviest burden of this pandemic because they are the nurses, the health care workers, have the low paying service jobs, have to manage the children when school is closed, and take care of the elderly. For all of this, they get paid less. They do the shopping and cooking when nothing is to be found in the stores. They do the "deep cleaning" to make sure no virus hangs around. We all need to step up and realize we are in this together and have to all do our fair share. Equal responsibilities and equal rights.

Arizona is 51st (among states & districts) in the nation in COVID-9 testing but are still not transparent about what is going on in nursing homes and prisons.

The federal government has filed their objections to the ratification of Virginia as the 38th state necessary to put the ERA into the Constitution. The two main points are standing (the right to file a suit i.e. skin in the game) and the timeline. Women certainly have plenty of "skin in the game" as we have been fighting for the ERA for 97 years. The response and amicus briefs will be filed June 8.

Like most groups, we are meeting virtually and keeping in touch by internet and phone. Check out our website and facebook page for contacts and information. If you want to keep up on what AZNOW or the ERA Task Force is doing, sign up for our action alert list. We also need your donations to keep up our work. It's your equality after all.


UPDATES

It's hard to figure out what the House thinks its doing, but it appears that their main point is to grandstand for their hard core backers and to protect businesses.

They allowed Rep. Kavanagh to introduce a bill, HB2912 on May 19, way past the deadline, focusing on COVID 19 legal liability. He said he's afraid that unscrupulous lawyers will take advantage of poor, upstanding businesses. In fact it's just the opposite. Businesses are taking advantage of employees and forcing them to return to work in unsafe conditions or they lose their unemployment benefits. Besides, if unscrupulous lawyers did file a lawsuit, the judges, now one-third appointed by #45, would no doubt drop it in its tracks. So businesses have protection, people don't. Unscrupulous lawyers can be stopped by judges. Unscrupulous legislators can only be stopped by voters. That vote is coming up November 3.

The bill reduces punishment for violating an executive order issued by the governor related to COVID 19. The only penalty can be a civil fine up to $100 but even then only after the person has been warned and given 24 hours to correct. No entity i.e. city or county that issues licenses can suspend or revoke it because of a violation. This is retroactive to March 10, 2020. This is a red flag to those who refuse to follow the stay at home orders so they are given permission to run riot with no penalty.

The second part of the bill says that no one is liable - businesses, churches, schools - if a person contracts the virus at their place before April 1, 2021 unless the place engages in gross negligence. That is a higher standard than the usual negligence. It also says that the burden of proof is "clear and convincing." That is likewise higher than the usual "preponderance of the evidence." This emergency measure goes into effect immediately.

Democrats tried to get a definition of what is gross negligence e.g. not abiding by CDC requirements etc. but got nowhere. The bill only went to Rules committee where they were told it was likely unconstitutional because of Article 2 §31 in the state Constitution that says: "Damages for death or personal injuries. No law shall be enacted in this state limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury of any person, except a crime victim is not subject to a claim for damages by a person who is harmed while the person is attempting to engage in, engaging in or fleeing after having engaged in or attempted to engage in conduct that is classified as a felony offense." By raising the standard of harm and raising the standard of evidence, the legislature is limiting the amount of damages a person can get for being harmed. Nevertheless, it passed on party lines 4-3. Then it passed on the floor again on strictly party lines 32-29. Elections have consequences. You are looking at one of them right now. Vote Nov. 3 like your life depended on it. It does.

Since it is unknown whether or not the Arizona House will adjourn for the session, following along with the Senate, you should continue to call/write your legislators and sign up for Request to Speak (RTS). If not for this year, then in preparation for the next!

If you want some tips on writing a letter to your legislators, go to 
https://erataskforceaz.com/resources
Of course you will want to have the email and phone numbers of your own legislative district Senator and two Representatives. If you don't know, go to this web site:
https://www.azleg.gov/findmylegislator/
If a bill gets to Governor Ducey's desk, his contact is:
engage@az.gov
602.542.4331
You can find a contact form at:
https://azgovernor.gov/engage/form/contact-governor-ducey
SPECIAL NOTES

AZNOW and the Legislative Committee of Central Phoenix Inez Casiano NOW chapter is always happy to have new members. You don't need any special skills, we'll teach you all you need to know! If you are interested or curious, please contact: Dianne Post at postdlpost@aol.com
HOUSE DEADLINES
TBA - Last day for Conference Committees
TBA - Sine Die
SENATE DEADLINES
Sine Die
 
It is largely unknown what will transpire in the coming weeks for the House or Senate. The bills in italics mean it was passed.


We urge you to use the Request to Speak System, call or email your legislator or show up for a committee hearing and have your voice heard!

WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK?
 
HOUSE & SENATE    
SB1027, Carter Pelvic exam w/o consent, the amendment allows law enforcement to request exam. Health and Human Services 5/21, 8-0 passed
SB1171 – Mesnard/Blackman Criminal justice data like the House bill of Blackman – much reduced to Maricopa county only.  Judiciary 5/20, DPA 6-4
SB1397, Mesnard Pre-existing conditions, prohibition BUT no teeth on how much they can charge, Dems tried to add that and lost.   Commerce 5/19 – passed 7-1
Rules 5/20, C&P, 8-0
Passed 5/21 by 59-1, Sent to Senate
CONTACT Governor to express your opinion that we need actual protections and sign the health care petition that is circulating for the ballot.  
SB1435, Gowan The Strike Everything replaced the previous language with an Emergency Interoperability Communications system for sharing all info in a crisis, introduced by chair Kevin Payne.   Public Safety 5/20, Strike Everything, passed 5-3.
SB1439, Ugenti-Rita Breast implant, informed consent -  Health and Human Services heard on 5/21, passed 8-0 
SB1441, Farnsworth Protection Orders – if one has exclusive use of the house and moves or circumstances change, must notify court and use could change. Rules 5/18, passed 5-2
Passed 5/19 – 31-29 
Sent to Senate.
CONTACT Governor in opposition.  This puts victims in further harms way.
SB1556, Farnsworth Civil forfeiture- extending more protections to citizens in civil forfeiture.  Judiciary, 5/20,  passed 6-4, Rules 5/21 – C&P 7-0
FAILED on the floor 23-37
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