The number of bills being tracked is 254 plus 3 Strike All amended bills.
There were some changes in scores – especially a general move downward in both bodies of the legislature largely due to votes on bills this past week.
In the Senate, HB2045 (essentially allowing the executive branch to impose a hospital bed tax) and HB2500 (which forces insurance companies to consider the government a preferred provider for vaccinations) caused Republican scores to be lower. Both of these bills have the appeal of not having the legislature vote to increase taxes or fees while allowing executive agencies to extract more money from the private sector. The government should raise money based on specific taxes and fees set by the legislature instead of hiding what big government legislators call “revenue enhancements” in regulatory authority assigned to the executive branch.
In the House, SB1223 (allowing the Department of Fish and Game to set fees instead of having the legislature set them) and SB1316 (adding state regulation of house appraisers) causes lower scores. SB1223 eliminates the legislated fees and empowers the executive branch to set fees which we consistently oppose as an abrogation of legislative responsibility. SB1316 adds more economic regulation ostensibly to protect people from bad appraisers, but will actually restrict competition in the appraisal industry, raise costs of appraisals (which will be an added cost to those financing a house purchase), and will have little or no effect on protecting the public since these appraisals are done for the benefit of lenders financing the house purchase (NOT the buyer or seller of the property). Mortgage lenders can qualify their own appraisers without the assistance and cost of state licensing. This is another example of an economic regulation sought by the regulated industry as a means of limiting entry and raising prices rather than actually serving a legitimate public purpose.
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.
The legislation causing the most lowering of scores is HB2047 combined with HB2045 which switches Arizona from the AIMS standard to the Common Core standard. Our concern is that Common Core surrenders state autonomy on education to the federal government and promotes nationalization of education well beyond the proper scope of the federal government. In addition, the curriculum associated with Common Core relies on an international perspective instead of traditional study of American and World history. HB2425 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.
Other 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.
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