Arizona has 31% fewer small businesses than it did just before the COVID-19 outbreak. The government mandated shutdown clearly took a toll. But even as fear of getting the virus drove customers away, fear of being held liable for spreading the virus fueled business owners’ hesitance to reopen or remain open.

The same is true of churches, private schools, nonprofit organizations, and more. The domino effect impacted quality of life for many throughout the country.

That shouldn’t happen again, at least not in Arizona. In an effort to combat frivolous lawsuits and reward good faith efforts to keep people safe, the Arizona legislature passed, and Governor Ducey signed SB 1377, sponsored by Senator Vince Leach.

SB 1377 protects people and providers from liability in an emergency when a good faith effort is made to protect others from injury. This includes just about every business and organization: service providers, entertainment establishments, schools, state agencies, government institutions, churches and other religious organizations, etc. It’s also retroactive to last March.

This is good news for the economy as well as religious institutions that exist to serve those in need and those seeking comfort or support during public emergencies. Their diligent efforts to prevent the spread of a pandemic will be enough to protect them from liability, and keep them open according to government mandates.

Between SB 1377 and HB 2648, churches and other religious organizations in Arizona can be confident of their right to remain open and serve the community even during a public crisis.

You may recall, HB 2648, sponsored by Representative Ben Toma, establishes religious organizations as essential during an emergency, allowing them to remain open under the same guidelines as other businesses deemed essential. The bill awaits floor debate in the Senate with a final vote likely in the House. Follow the bill’s progress here.

Follow the progress of all CAP-supported bills on our BILL TRACKER.

Victories this week at the Capitol!

Life bill revived, awaiting final vote

Much to the chagrin of abortion activists and news media, senators voted to reconsider pro-life bill, SB 1457. It was a victorious turnaround after an unexpected loss on the Senate floor last week. Media coverage celebrating the defeat of the pro-life bill went nationwide. Not surprisingly, its revival drew far less coverage. The bill now goes to conference committee and will face another final vote.

A Parental Rights Victory!

You may have seen our Breaking News earlier this week announcing the passage of SB 1456, sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto. This bill acknowledges that parents have the fundamental right to guide the education and upbringing of their children. It prohibits district and charter schools from teaching sex education before fifth-grade. It also ensures parents have access to curricula used in sex-ed programs so they can make the right decisions for their families.

Adoption as an option

Arizona House members also passed SB 1254, by Senator Nancy Barto, sending it back to the Senate for a concurring vote. This bill ensures adoption information is readily available on the Arizona Department of Health Services website. Having this information easily accessible will allow women in crisis to find an alternative to abortion, as well as assist would-be parents in finding children in need of a home.

ICYMI

  • Read here about a federal appeals court ruling upholding Ohio’s ban on abortions of unborn babies with Down syndrome.
  • Under the Biden Administration, the FDA relaxed safety rules and approved sending the abortion pill through the mail. Read here why that’s a bad idea.
  • Read here about the faulty claims in favor of experimenting on kids in the name of politics.
  • We’re just a week away from this year’s CAP Family Dinner with Former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo! Click here for more details.

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