With less than a week before the deadline, the Arizona House and Senate have both passed several budget bills, including tax relief, election reform, and funding for pro-life, pro-family programs. They have until June 30th to complete their work and meet the budget deadline.
Four CAP-supported bills got the final approval last night and will be headed to the Governor for his signature:
- Family Health Pilot Program will be a statewide platform promoting childbirth and providing support services to pregnant women and adoptive parents. The program involves reaching out to women seeking an abortion in an effort to connect them with a nurse and supportive staff to help meet their needs. This often gives them the confidence to choose life for their preborn babies. Note this is the pro-life bill that was defeated in the Arizona Senate the last two years.
- STO aggregate cap increase – This budget item raises the cap on the corporate tax credit program called Lexie’s Law, which allows Arizona students with disabilities to go to a private school equipped to meet their unique needs. The cap will increase by $1 million to $6 million.
- STO scholarship increase – Scholarship tax credit programs help provide some Arizona students the affordability to attend the school that best meets their needs. The budget item will allow school tuition organizations (STO) to help more Arizona families by adding specified homeschool students, new residents, and former Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) holders to the list of eligible students. The measure also allows for a modest increase in the cap on the scholarship amount.
- Pregnant homeless women assistance – Doubles the amount granted to organizations like Maggie’s Place that help meet the needs of pregnant homeless women so they can get on their feet and keep their babies.
Two More Pro-Life Wins!
Lawmakers this week also passed many of the 22 bills previously vetoed by the Governor weeks ago, only because he hadn’t yet received a budget. CAP-supported bills reintroduced and passed in the House today include:
- Human remains – Changes state law to acknowledge the humanity of a preborn baby by referring to the remains as an unborn child. Currently, the law uses the term “product of human conception” and “all products of conception.”
- Adoption birth certificate – allows adoptees to receive their original birth certificate when they reach 18-years-old. Birth parents must agree to be contacted prior to contact.
One of the remaining budget bills includes changes to the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program that would make low-income students eligible for the education assistance. The Senate approved the bill, but it’s future is uncertain in the House. That debate is scheduled to happen today.
Also awaiting final resolution is CAP-supported HB 2648 to enact a law to ensure religious entities are not discriminated against simply because they are religious.
The House was set to vote on the budget Tuesday, but a few members were online, not in person. That gave Democrats an opportunity to stall. They didn’t show up, denying quorum and delaying the vote until Thursday. In response, the Republicans issued a rule change Thursday limiting debate in an effort to curtail delaying tactics. After hours of arguing and further delaying the process, the members began voting on budget items.
Before final adjournment, the House is expected today to complete one final vote to get a CAP-supported bill that has been languishing for weeks to Governor Ducey’s desk. Parental rights bill, HB 2035 would ensure parents are informed and have the final word on what their children are taught in public school regarding human sexuality.
These budget items are in addition to the CAP-supported bills passed and signed by the Governor earlier in the session. Those include:
- SB 1457 – Prohibits abortions based on genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome; prohibits the abortion pill being sent through the mail, and requires proper treatment of aborted baby’s remains.
- SB 1254 – Requires a link on the Arizona Department of Health Services Website home page highlighting adoption as an option, and lists agencies and services available to assist a woman through pregnancy and the adoption journey.
- HB 2575 – Requires a hospital to allow in-person visits by clergy for religious purposes if they allow other in-person visits.
- HB 2459 – Makes eligible anyone 18 or older for manslaughter charges if they intentionally gave advice or encouragement to a minor that he or she should commit suicide when they had knowledge that the minor had intentions to commit suicide.
- SB 1336 – Ensures pain medication for terminal patients may not be used to hasten death.
Also, lawmakers passed SCR 1009 , which calls on Congress to enact a resolution to protect babies born alive during an abortion.
- The U.S. Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to pass a sweeping election law takeover by the federal government. The bill failed along party lines, and now leftists are demanding the repeal of the filibuster to ram the legislation through.
- Read here about a biological male cleared to compete in the Olympics against women in none other than a weightlifting competition.
- Parents in one Virginia county are pushing back hard against the teaching of controversial issues. But the school board chair remains adamant.
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