SB1026, sponsored by John Kavanagh (R-3), threatens school funding by prohibiting organizations that receive state tax dollars (including public schools) from hosting “drag shows” to entertain people under 18. Violators would lose state funds for 3 years. The bill’s definition of “drag show” is broad enough to include school plays such as Shakespeare or football players who dress up as cheerleaders for pep rallies. Identical bills have been introduced in several other states, prompting concerns of model legislation drafted by a hate group. The Legislature’s nonpartisan rules attorneys have told them the bill is unconstitutional. Scheduled for House Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
SB1255, sponsored by Anthony Kern (R-27), would restrict Arizona agencies from creating rules that would increase regulatory costs by more than $500,000 over 5 years after implementation. The Legislature would instead be required to enact legislation to ratify the proposed rule into law. Although the far right says it will “rein in unelected bureaucrats,” this shortsighted measure would kneecap Hobbs and Mayes’ ability to regulate unaccountable, wasteful spending. A prime example is Arizona’s universal ESA voucher program; parents who use the program are complaining about the payment processor, ClassWallet, and a different vendor could cost easily that amount or more. In committee, the sponsor could not answer how many rules this would impact, but said “it shouldn’t matter.” Scheduled for House Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.
HB2539, sponsored by Beverly Pingerelli (R-28), would force the Arizona Department of Education to implement a “public awareness program” to prop up school choice in Arizona, including free publicity for taxpayer-funded ESA vouchers. If someone moves to Arizona and registers a car here, the information would be delivered to them along with their registration. This absurd bill would spend $600,000 per year and create four full-time positions to handle this work. Scheduled for Senate Rules Committee, Monday. OPPOSE.