Mar 1, 2024 - News

Arizona voting center ban looks stalled and more happening at the Capitol

A Vote Here sign in front of the entrance to a government office.

A voting center at Tolleson City Hall in 2022. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

It was another busy week at the Arizona Capitol.

Here's what your lawmakers were up to.

🗳 House Republicans approved a proposed ballot measure to ban voting centers and force counties to use precinct-based voting.

  • Yes, but: Sen. Ken Bennett (R-Prescott) told Axios he'll oppose the measure in the Senate, which means it likely doesn't have enough votes to pass.

🏫 A proposed ballot measure that would've asked voters to bar trans-inclusive policies at schools failed by one vote in the Senate. It also would have prohibited teachers from using students' preferred pronouns and names without parental permission.

  • A regular bill that would require schools to inform parents if their underage children ask to use a different pronoun did pass the Senate, but it is likely to be vetoed if it gets to Hobbs.

⛪ Religious institutions would be able to fast-track affordable housing development on their property under a "Yes in God's backyard" bill approved by the House on Thursday.

⛺ Property owners who independently mitigate issues caused by homeless encampments would get tax breaks if cities fail to enforce laws against public camping, loitering and public intoxication under a proposed ballot measure OK'd by House Republicans.

  • The plan lacks bipartisan support, but as a ballot referral it doesn't need Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs' signature.

⛔ A bill that would make illegal immigration a state crime is on its way to Hobbs' desk after the House gave it final approval on Wednesday.

  • Hobbs has already said she'll veto it.

💻 The Senate passed two bipartisan bills aimed at combating deepfakes in elections.

  • One would make it a felony to use deepfakes to defraud or harass people in any circumstances and another would make it a criminal offense not to disclose that election deepfakes are generated by AI.
  • Both bills now move to the House.

🍄 Psilocybin would become legal for mental health treatment under a bill that passed out of the Senate with broad bipartisan support.

  • The bill now goes to the House.

🛫 Don't expect much action in the House next week: 17 representatives plan to take a six-day trip to Israel.

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