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The Capitol Roundup: August 31, 2018

The Capitol Roundup: August 31, 2018

Primarily Participatory
​At the Statehouse…
As Arizonans paid tribute to U.S. Senator John McCain, election officials from throughout the state tallied the final ballots to determine the outcome of several tightly contested races in Tuesday’s primary election. More than a million people voted in the election – almost 30% of registered voters. The turnout exceeded the number of votes from any other primary election in state history and set records for primary election participation in some areas of the state.
The outcome of the election will mean some incumbents will not get another term in office: several current legislators lost to challengers from within their own political party, along with current Secretary of State Michele Reagan and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. Frank Riggs, a former ​Congressman, con-

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tinues to lead in the Republican race to succeed Douglas, but the result remains too close to call as Maricopa County continues to verify signatures in more than 100,000 early ballots that were returned on election day. The Republican victor in the race will run against Kathy Hoffman, a speech therapist who won the Democratic nomination.

When the final votes are tallied, the winners in Tuesday’s primary election will renew their campaigns in preparation for the November general election. Voters will have the chance to elect new officials and to decide the outcome of several ballot propositions.

Click here for a full list of Congressional, statewide, and legislative election results.
 

Arizona Supreme Court Rulings Remove Two Initiatives

Due to rulings from the Arizona Supreme Court this week, voters will not vote on two citizen initiatives that were submitted earlier this summer.

The Court ruled that the Invest in Education initiative supporters did not adequately describe the impact of the proposed increase to specific income taxes on their petitions, and therefore did not meet statutory requirements. (The debate over income tax impact has unfolded at the legislature, as well.)

The Supreme Court also ruled that the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative would not appear on the ballot because some individuals who collected signatures on the petitions failed to appear in court to discuss their work on the initiative. State law requires signature gatherers to respond to subpoenas, and signatures collected by the individuals who did not comply were disqualified. Without them, the initiative did not meet the required number of signatures to move to the ballot.

The rulings drew very divided reactions. Opponents of the initiatives celebrated the successful legal action against the proposals, but supporters expressed frustration and pledged to continue advocating for the education funding and campaign finance changes they’d hoped to put before voters this year. 

DES Begins Process to Offer ABLE Act Service in Arizona

In the 2016 legislative session, state leaders enacted a law that created tax-free savings accounts for some individuals with disabilities. The accounts are authorized under the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The Arizona law created an Oversight Committee to guide the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s implementation of the program.

Although Arizona’s ABLE program formally launched in March of this year, last week DES proposed rules that will govern the ABLE Act accounts. The rules are open for public comment until October 3 and will likely become effective early next year after the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council approves them.

For more information on Arizona’s ABLE Accounts, click here.

What’s Next?

Senator McCain’s memorial at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. is Saturday, September 1 at 7:00 a.m. Arizona time (click here for a livestream of the event). Next week, Governor Ducey is expected to name his appointee to fill the Senator’s seat for two years. (In 2020, voters will have the chance to elect someone to the Senate seat for another two years. In 2022, at the end of what would have been Senator McCain’s term, Arizonans will vote for a candidate to start a new six-year term in the Senate.)

There is widespread speculation about who the Governor may appoint, but he has avoided commenting on the decision throughout the week of tributes to Senator McCain.

On the Bright Side…
Barrow Neurological Institute continues to provide new insights into how students and parents make decisions about school sports due to the growing understanding of concussions, and the United Food Bank celebrated the opening of a new refrigeration unitthat will expand its service to Arizonans – just in time for Hunger Action Month in September.


On the Federal Front…

Action Alert

 

 

Major Events Ahead

 

House Committee to Hold Hearing Addressing MFP; Advocates to Hold Briefing

On September 5, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on several bipartisan initiatives, including reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration Program. On September 6, The Arc and other advocacy organizations will hold a briefing for Congressional staff on reauthorization of MFP. MFP provides grants to states to transition people from institutions to community-based settings. According to areport from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this program has helped over 63,000 people transition into the community and saved Medicare and Medicaid almost $1 billion as of 2013. The Arc strongly supports reauthorization of MFP.
 

Major Recent Events

 

Senate Passes Funding Bill for Labor-HHS-Ed

 
On August 23, the Senate passed the fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (L-HHS-Ed) by a vote of 85-7. A number of amendments were passed to provide funding increases for select programs (such as school-based mental health services, opioid treatment, and child abuse prevention), but the bill did not include controversial policy riders. With only a few legislative days left before the midterm elections, the House is not expected to take up its Labor-HHS-Ed bill before then. A continuing resolution to keep the government funded through November or December is expected.

 
Due to the Labor Day holiday, the federal update will not be published next week. Look for updates on The Arc’s blog.


​​​Prepared by:
Peters, Cannata & Moody, PLC
www.pcmlawaz.com
The Arc of Arizona
www.arcarizona.org

and

The Arc of the United States


www.thearc.org


The Capitol Roundup is provided weekly throughout the Arizona Legislative session and periodically between sessions as a benefit of Membership in The Arc of Arizona. To continue receiving this publication, visit www.arcarizona.org/become-a-member to start or renew your Membership today!
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