New Tea Party laws prioritize special interests, ideology over good ideas and solutions
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Starting tomorrow, Arizonans will be subject to laws passed by the Tea Party Legislature and signed by Governor Brewer. Rooted in extreme ideology and pandering to special interests, these laws do nothing to solve the many real problems that Arizonans face every day. Some of the worst include:
- SB1365 free exercise of religion (Sen. Yarbrough): Allows state-licensed professionals (medical, legal, etc.) to avoid discipline for unprofessional conduct as long as it is based on “religious beliefs.”
- HB2036 abortion; procedures; informed consent (Rep. Yee): Prohibits abortions knowingly performed after a gestational age of 20 weeks, with exception for medical emergencies.
- HB2563 biblical influence; schools; electives (Rep. Proud): Allows public schools to offer bible classes as an elective, but does not allow the teaching of texts from other religions.
- HB2625 insurers; healthcare coverage; religious beliefs (Rep. Lesko): Allows employers who assert a religious motivation in their articles of incorporation to deny contraception coverage for their employees.
- HB2664 Credit card agreements (Rep. Dial): Subjects Arizonans to deceptive debt collection practices by out of state collectors.
- HB 2503 exemptions from punitive damages (Sen. Yee): Exempts corporations from punitive damage lawsuits if their product caused harm but was produced according to government standards.
- HB 2800 public funding; family planning, prohibition (Rep. Olson): Designed to deny public funds going to medical facilities that provide family planning services including non-federally qualified abortions. Currently being contested in court, this bill’s goal is to financially cripple vital women’s healthcare services provided by Planned Parenthood.
- HB 2571 state personnel system (Rep. Olson): Creates a system of cronyism in Arizona government. Allows the governor to hire and fire many of our most important agency heads, hindering a director’s ability to effectively and professionally manage his or her agency. It also strips state workers of important appeal rights for discipline and firing, which will only serve as cover for managerial incompetence and misconduct.
- HCR2004 state sovereignty (Rep. Crandell): Places a proposition on this November’s ballot for Arizona voters to decide whether to amend the state Constitution to assert the rights of sovereignty over the land and resources of the state.
- $440 million in tax cuts for corporations and the rich, more money to private prisons.
- Commits more money to private prisons while removing from statute language requiring comparison of private and state-runs prisons in such areas as cost savings and quality.
- The $50 million sweep from the national foreclosure settlement.
Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira (D-17):