It was no April Fools joke yesterday when the Arizona House of Representatives adjourned the chamber until 1 pm on Wednesday and suspended all floor action for the remainder of the week. The Arizona Capitol Times reported that this move means that members will not return to the floor for points of personal privilege or other business not requiring a vote. This move was made in the wage of the resignation of former Rep. David Stringer. His resignation leaves a partisan split in the House at 30-29 – still in the favor of Republicans, but leaves them one vote shy of the 31 votes bills need to pass out of the chamber. The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors is meeting on April 3rd to appoint a replacement to Stronger’s vacant House seat and there has been speculation as to who his replacement might be. Read the entire Capitol Times story by Kate Campbell.
Here is an update from our lobbyist team at DeMenna Public Affairs on some the active bills still working:
SB 1256: SCHOOL DISTRICTS: PROCUREMENT PRACTICES; AUDITORS
School districts are no longer prohibited from hiring the same auditor or auditing firm for more than three consecutive years, and auditors or auditing firms hired by a school district are no longer prohibited from also receiving consulting fees from the school district. Repeals statute requiring the State Board of Education to adopt rules for the procurement by school districts of any materials, services, goods, construction and construction services that require contracts to be awarded based on the lowest qualified bidder, which becomes effective July 1, 2019. The Department of Administration is required to establish the school procurement consulting pilot program, and program requirements are specified. The Department is required to report its findings to the Governor and the Legislature by December 15, 2020. The pilot program self-repeals February 16, 2021. Emergency clause. Sponsor: Sen. Gray (LD 21). Status: Introduced; Assigned to Senate Education; Passed Education Amended 8-0-0; Passed Rules; Passed COW; Passed Senate 30-0; Assigned to House Education; Passed Education 10-2-1; Passed Rules.
HB 2657: ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITY; WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Establishes the Technology and Trade Skills Program in the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide grants to qualifying providers that establish new or that enhance existing job training programs that develop the necessary skills and training to prepare persons for careers in high-demand fields. The Authority is required to establish application procedures for grants. The Authority is required to survey the qualifying providers that received grant monies to determine a list of information. Beginning in FY2022-23, by September 1 of each year, the Authority is required to submit survey outcome information to the Governor’s office, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and participating employers. The Authority is required to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature on the Program by January 1 of each year. The Program terminates on July 1, 2029. Appropriates $2 million from the general fund in FY2019-20 to the newly established Technology And Trade Skills Fund for the Program. Sponsor: Rep. Weninger (LD 17). Status: Introduced; Assigned to House Commerce, Appropriations; Passed Commerce Amended 8-1-0; Passed Appropriations 10-0-1; Passed COW Amended; Passed House 52-8-0; Assigned to Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development, Appropriations; Passed Higher Education & Workforce Development 7-0-0; Passed Appropriations Amended 7-0-2.