Satan and transportation policy

Could it be, Satan?.

So this one caught my eye;

SB1279 – satanic displays; public property; prohibition

Sponsored by Gov’t Committee chair Sen Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek). The hearing was a little bit entertaining; you can make your own judgement here, but it seems to have some constitutional problems (i.e. apparently you can build certain kinds of alters on public property, but not satanic ones) — but at the end of the day, were it to reach governor’s desk it would presumably be vetoed. Political theater.

UPDATE 2/22/2024: After passing committee on party line vote, failed on the senate floor (by two whole votes). Dead for now.

Why am I telling you this?

SB1195 and SCR1015

More relevant to our purpose here, at the same hearing we had SB1195 and its twin [see below for explanation of “twinning”] SCR1015 both sponsored by Sen. Kern R-Glendale, Hearing.

This one has a wacky grab bag of prohibitions: most but not all revolving around prohibiting any form of gov’t (including the state universities) from doing anything involving climate change, including measuring it, or studying it, or belonging to any organization or association that does that. The fecal matter, articles of clothing, and references to Marxism, and the (undefined terms) ‘stakeholder capitalism’, and ‘circular economy’ were curious.

And if anyone believes the law is being broken, they can then sue the government (litigation much?).

Item 5, the fecal matter, was amended out; and the bill (and it’s twin SCR) passed along party lines with Republicans voting 5-3 in favor.

A. A public entity may not spend public monies to promote, advocate or plan for, or become a member of an association or organization that promotes, advocates or plans for, any of the following:

1. reducing the consumption or production of meat or dairy products or replacing animal-based protein with insect or synthetic protein.

2. reducing or replacing motor vehicle travel with walking, biking, or public transit.

3. reducing or limiting travel by airplane.

4. limiting the number of articles of clothing an individual may purchase or own.

5. reusing water that has touched human feces as a source of municipal drinking water.

6. reducing greenhouse gas emissions or tracking and collecting of any information or data for determining consumption-based emissions.

7. limiting the increase of the average global temperature or producing or adopting a climate action plan.

8. replacing private ownership with shared or rented goods and services to promote a circular economy.

9. furthering Marxist ideologies, including stakeholder capitalism.

10. implementing mass surveillance systems to monitor motor vehicle travel.

Here’s a few tidbits:

Sen. Kern: “…the bill also disallows public agencies from limiting the number of articles of clothing an individual may purchase or own.
That’s kind of ‘out there’ to most of us, but there is a move in our country to bring in Marxism, to bring in anti-God, pro-Marxist ideology, anti-freedom, anti-constitution. And as I looked around the room, there’s a few of them in this room that would absolutely be against this bill (presumably referring to the people who spoke against the Satanist bill).  But it is a good bill…”

Sen. Hoffman: “Senator Kern, eloquent and common sense is always…”

Sen Hoffman: “she’s (a speaker in opposition to the bill) not here to pontificate on random climate change crap”

It’s ‘out there’ all right!

Sen. Kern, you may recall last year, apparently believing that the “washington” , “woke types” were somehow going to force him to put bike lanes on I-10:

“So yeah and and I think that’s the reason for the amendment was to ensure that we also are very concerned about just widening the the I-10 there and not all these other you know ‘woke type’ implementations at the federal government wants to put into our transportation system. I’ve learned in the past week that you know our transportation system is somehow racist and all that nonsense so we do want the I-10 widened and that’s it, nothing else.”

Update as of end of February: Both the SCR and SB passed committee on party-line vote.
Then, the SCR failed on full senate vote. The Bill was passed on a party-line vote of 16-12-2; Every Republican voted for it. The bill then moves to the House.


A popular (lately) tactic of the Republican-majority legislature, in light of a Democratic governor, is to introduce both a bill that they know she won’t sign, and a copy of the bill as a ballot initiative. A bill can be vetoed, and an override (2/3 majority or something?) by the legislature is infeasible; but a ballot initiative goes directly to the ballot. Another “twin” is the photo-enforcement ban:



Welcome to Senator Bollick,  to the Government committee, where even the best bills are partisan” — Sen. Jake Hoffman, chair of the committee

5 thoughts on “Satan and transportation policy”

  1. What’s that got to do with the deploarble state of bicycle safety and legal enforcement?

  2. David: I do think it’s connected — the pro-car and anti-enforcement stuff spells ever more, and ever higher speed motor vehicles = more traffic injuries and fatalities, including bicyclists.

  3. I had forgotten the part about where Hoffman referred to “at the U.S. Capitol, you could have a gay sex orgy” and that somehow has something to do with some guy in Iowa for damaging a Satan statue.
    Howard Fischer
    PHOENIX — Calling Satan “an explicit enemy of God,’’ a state senator is pushing to keep displays of him, by any name, off of public property.
    Just Satan. Christmas trees and menorahs would still be allowed.
    ”It is a desecration of our public property in the United States of America and in the state of Arizona for a satanic display, memorial, altar, etc., to be on public property,’’ said Sen. Jake Hoffman, a Queen Creek Republican.
    He pushed the measure through the Senate Government Committee Wednesday on a 5-1 party-line vote.
    All that drew questions.
    ”It is because it’s insulting to your religion?’’ asked Sen. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe.
    Hoffman said that’s not his motive.
    The Satanic Temple has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a religion and entitled to the same charitable status as any other.
    “I am genuinely impressed that in only 25 words this bill seems to violate three separate clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,’’ testified Micah Mangione, an individual who showed up to testify against the bill.
    These, he said, are prohibiting the government from establishing a religion, barring government interference with the free exercise of religion, and guaranteeing the right to free speech. He warned the Republicans there are implications for their support of SB 1279.
    ”If you can go after the Satanic Temple, which is a religion, what about paganism next?’’ Mangione asked. “What about Judaism next? How about Islam? How about LDS?’’
    What the legislation does is declare that only Christian values matter, he said.
    Hoffman said he doesn’t see it that way.
    ”It is legally and constitutionally suspect to argue that Satan, someone who is universally known to be an explicit enemy of God, is somehow a religion,’’ he said. “That is an absolutely ludicrous statement to make.’’
    Another individual testifying against the bill, Tonia Francis, told Hoffman what he is proposing interferes with her First Amendment rights.
    Hoffman disagreed, saying she remains free to practice whatever she wants — just as long as nothing is erected on public property. Any arguments beyond that are off base, he said.
    ”So you think that it’s both legally and constitutionally OK to argue that Satan … who is universally known to be explicitly the enemy of God, antithetical to God, you think that’s targeting your religion?’’ Hoffman asked.
    ”Universally known to you?’’ Francis asked.
    ”To, literally, everyone,’’ Hoffman responded. “That’s not a point that’s debatable. Would you not say that Satan is the enemy of God?
    ”No,’’ Francis said.
    Hoffman called her testimony “disingenuous.’’
    Mendez called the legislation “a straight-up attack on the rights of people and religion.’’
    ”Any religion that could be viewed by the sponsor or this committee, if they view it to be a desecration to Christianity, they’re no longer safe in Arizona,’’ he said. “This proposal is literally trying to erase any religious group that does not agree with your view of Christianity.’’
    That drew an angry reaction from Hoffman.
    ”Nobody said it was a desecration of Christianity,’’ he said. “It’s a desecration of public property.’’
    Mendez refused to back down, repeating his argument that this was about Hoffman trying to erase beliefs that that do not align with his.
    ”I don’t understand how we all don’t see this as an attack on the Constitution,’’ Mendez said.
    And not just the U.S. Constitution. Mendez noted the Arizona Constitution has its own provision saying “perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured to every inhabitant of this state.’’
    ”This proposal is up here, literally trying to molest people in their religion,’’ Mendez said.
    Sen. Janae Shamp, R-Surprise, said what’s in the legislation is no different than things already happening.
    ”We’ve had plenty of situations where the Commandments have been removed from courthouses across the country,’’ she said.
    ”There’s been plenty of attacks on Christians, on Muslims,’’ Shamp said. “This is simply to say there will not be a display in a government building.’’
    What Shamp did not say is that the legislation also would cover outdoor displays — and that there is a Ten Commandments display in state-owned Wesley Bolin Plaza, across from the Capitol in Phoenix. There also are Christmas displays set up at the Capitol as well as a menorah.
    Hoffman said a restriction on public property is justified and does not infringe on individual rights.
    ”I find it ironic that in Iowa you can knock over a satanic display and you go to jail for that,’’ he said, referring to the arrest of a man who attacked and beheaded a permitted statue put up by the Satanic Temple at Iowa’s Capitol in December.
    ”But, yet, at the U.S. Capitol, you could have a gay sex orgy in a government building and there is zero consequence,’’ Hoffman said.
    That refers to a congressional staffer who allegedly taped himself having sex in a Senate hearing room. While he was fired for violating policy, there was no evidence any law was broken.
    Hoffman called that disparity “abhorrent and disgusting.’’
    The measure now needs Senate approval
    The AZ mirror’s take:

  4. Howard Fischer
    PHOENIX — A Senate panel voted Wednesday to provide a legal basis in law for any Arizonan to file suit against any level of government they contend is “furthering Marxist ideologies.’’
    On a party-line vote, Republicans on the Government Committee agreed to open the door for litigation designed to stop public funds from being used on a laundry list of ideas.
    Peoria Republican Sen. Anthony Kern’s measure, SB 1195, would also bar spending taxpayer dollars to promote, advocate or plan to, among other examples, reduce motor vehicle traffic through biking or public transit, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit increases in global temperatures, reduce consumption of meat or dairy products, or anything “furthering Marxist ideologies including stakeholder capitalism.’’
    The original version of his bill also would have barred using public funds to recycle and reuse water for drinking “that has touched human feces.’’
    But Kern conceded that, as worded, that would do more than undermine cities’ efforts by cities to reclaim wastewater. It even would have barred the use of water from the Colorado River.
    So that provision is gone, at least for the time being.
    Everything else remains. Kern said his legislation is designed to stop public dollars from being used on all sorts of ideas he finds unacceptable, whether they actually are occurring or not.
    One provision says taxpayer dollars cannot be used for any efforts to limit the number of articles of clothing an individual may purchase or own. “That’s kind of out there to most of us,’’ Kern told the Senate Government Committee.
    “But there is a move in our country to bring in Marxism, to bring in anti-God, pro-Marxist ideology, anti-freedom, anti-Constitution,” he said.
    The bill would allow any Arizona resident, no matter where they live, to sue a public entity, including a university, over how it was using public dollars and, if they win, get their legal fees paid by the government.
    The provisions worry Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
    ”They appear to be more of a culture war manifesto against a collection of unrelated issues and items,’’ she testified, calling setting the stage for litigation “irresponsible.’’
    Leaving aside the provision about recycling water, Bahr said barring communities from trying to reduce vehicle traffic has health implications.
    ”Cleaning up our air improves and saves lives,’’ she said. “Actions to hinder that have real impact on your constituents.’’
    She said the measure would prohibit state or local governments from even collecting information on greenhouse gas emissions, at a time of climate change effects, including bigger and more intense wildfires.
    ”I don’t know why you would want to tie the hands of our government overall in trying to address one of the biggest issues that we face,’’ Bahr said.
    Sen. Priya Sundareshan, D-Tucson, had a more immediate question.
    She said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero is a member of U.S. Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network involving more than 500 cities with the stated goal “to demonstrate leadership on climate change.’’
    ”Are you saying that some disgruntled Tucson resident might be able to sue over that?’’ Sundareshan asked. “Maybe not even a city of Tucson resident, maybe a city of Mesa resident?’’
    Bahr said that’s exactly what the measure would allow. And she said that, as worded, SB 1195 also would subject universities to risks of litigation for just doing research in any of these areas.
    The panel also advanced a backup plan should Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs veto the measure if it reaches her desk.
    By the same 5-3 party-line vote Republicans also approved the identically worded SCR 1015. The only difference is that measure would send the proposal to the November ballot, bypassing the need for gubernatorial approval.
    Both measures now go to the full Senate.

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