VETOED: AZ Legislature’s latest emission

[Spoiler alert: As expected, Gov. Hobbs vetoed this bad bill 6/20/2023] Arizona legislature’s merged “prop 400” (a bill to enable a vote on Maricopa county SALES tax for transpo) bill has been passed by both house and senate on 6/13/2023 along straight party lines (i.e. by one vote in each chamber). As I said before, AZ Republican’s war on walking continues.. or rather their war on anything that’s not a car.

SB1246; the easiest (but it isn’t easy) way to read it is here.

There are a number of oddities here, e.g. it would set a minimum speed limit of 65mph on freeways in Maricopa County. Legislators knows best. The most salient part for our purposes is the bill would prohibit any spending on any “active transportation projects”.

That term is not defined anywhere; which is slightly strange (poor drafting? or intentionally bad drafting?). The term generally means anything other than an automobile. So no sidewalks, thank you.

Gov. Hobbs has said she will veto the bill.

This would leave “prop 400” in limbo, with funds drying up after the current SALES tax expires in 2025.

The micromanagement is ridiculous and certainly at odds with traditional conservative Republican values (that decisions should be pushed down and made at the most-local level; in this case the county. The AZ Republicans are all flagrant hypocrites on this point, with the so-called “Freedom Caucus”, Hoffman, et al, being by far the worst offenders). The azcentral article has the background of why Maricopa is the only county subject to this intrusive oversight:

The main sticking point was how the money collected by the tax — assuming Maricopa County voters would approve it — would get spent. The largest of 15 counties in Arizona is the only one required to get the Legislature’s approval before it can put a transportation tax on the ballot. The origin of that law echoes current Republican objections to mass transit.

Hint: Republicans hate anything that doesn’t involve individually-operated automobiles.

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