Arizona Conservative Coalition Republican Legislator Rankings
Legislative Actions as of 5/17/2013
Last Updated 5/21/2013
The number of bills being tracked is 265 plus 3 Strike All amended bills. Ten Senate budget bills were just added to the evaluation. These bills have all gotten negative weights because they unnecessarily increase spending. In addition, some of the budget bills are expanding Medicaid and funding Common Core in K-12 education which we strongly oppose.
Here is what happened in the past week with bills that are part of the evaluation:
In the House:
HB2045, which gives discretion to the executive branch on Medicaid payment amounts to hospitals and was amended in the conference committee to also include Medical Procedure price posting regulations, passed the House in a final read. This bill, which we strongly oppose, allows executive discretion instead of rules set by the legislature which is an abrogation of the legislature’s role and permits executive discretion which invites corrupting government processes by allowing favoritism. Also, the Medical Procedure price posting regulations are a useless burden placed on medical service providers which provide no real benefit for patients as the bill is written.
In the Senate:
HB2045, which is described above, passed the Senate in a final read.
SB1483-SB1492, which are budget bills, all passed the Senate. We opposed these budget bills because they increase spending unnecessarily. Three of them are particularly bad because of funding for Medicaid Expansion, Common Core K-12 Education, and egregious pork barrel spending. The Senate majority that passed these budget bills included the Democrats and liberal “Republicans” who joined forces at the urging of the governor to pass a bloated budget that she and the Democrats wanted. It brings back unpleasant memories of Janet Napolitano. With enough outcry from Republican voters, perhaps this budget can be fixed in the House. With 24 Democrat votes in the House, only 7 “Republicans” are needed to get this budget passed in the House. With enough phone calls and emails to House members, it might be possible to stop this in the House, especially if the Republican leaders are not pressuring Republicans to vote for it.
We have added a new feature to the ratings. There is now a section showing scoring exceptions for a legislator voting NO on a bill in order to make a motion to reconsider it. This is explained in the score section in more detail. The basic idea is that, in this special case, a NO vote is counted as a YES vote in the evaluation because the legislator is actually advancing the bill by using the NO vote as a parliamentary tactic to be permitted to give the bill another chance to be voted on.
As we near the end of the session, we remind legislators as well as the voters to beware of omnibus bills and last minute amendments that can contain legislative language that might be glossed over to sneak it past legislators. This is often done by overwhelming legislators with too many pages of legislation to read before voting or by making last minute changes that are difficult to properly evaluate before a vote. Legislators should understand that any bill containing legislative language from a bill that we gave a negative weight may get the negative weight of that negatively weighted bill regardless of how many good things are also in the revised bill currently being voted on. Since it will be impossible for the contents of omnibus bills or bills with last minute amendments to be known early enough for an announcement about how the bill weights will be reset for the evaluation, everyone needs to be aware that they will be evaluated on the final version of the bills they vote on after the votes take place. With the Governor digging in to pressure the legislature to expand Medicaid, we will be watching for that in late breaking bills as well as appropriation omnibus bills. We will also be looking for Common Core funding in omnibus bills. We strongly oppose both and will weight bills that include them accordingly.
These are NOT final scores for the session until our final report after the session ends! We encourage conservative activists to use these weekly evaluations as a way to work with legislators to achieve more conservative results in the legislative session.
Bills having a significant negative impact on scores remove significant limitations on school district spending, allow executive agencies to set fees in order to bypass limitations on the legislature raising taxes or fees, or increase government regulation of businesses.Many Republican legislators have argued that good business regulations that “make people do the right thing” are good. This, unfortunately, is almost a perfect definition of fascism which Republicans traditionally oppose. There are always situations where we might wish others would deal with us on terms of our choosing when they are not willing to do so. Using government to force people to deal with us on our terms rather than mutually agreed upon terms is tyranny even if it is dressed up as consumer protection or professional responsibility or trying to improve market efficiency. Of course, in a free economy, people can decide for themselves what is good and make decisions on that basis as both consumers and businesses. Also, government regulations usually have unintended consequences that are usually bad. These consequences are then used to justify still more regulation when less regulation is the best solution.