Legislative update: bills restricting youth rights head to committee

As we enter the fourth week of  Legislative session, we’re looking at a barrage of bills looking to kill public education in Arizona; oppress minority groups; suppress critical thought in schools; and politically entrench the extreme religious right.

A major theme this year is “parental rights”–bills designed to suppress freedom of thought, identity, and reproductive choice among youth, and to push adults who support these freedoms out of schools and government.

What happened last week:

Secular AZ testified in public hearings against 7 bills. Five were harmful for education; (SB1011, HB2025, HB2040, HB2112); one harmful for girls and transgender athletes (HB1165); and one promoted fascist talking points (SCR1008).

All but one (HB2025) passed along party lines despite overwhelming (bipartisan) public opposition.

The next stop for these bills is a floor hearing. We’ll alert you when they move next.

What’s happening this week:

The following bills will be in House and Senate Education committees Tuesday 1/25 at 2pm (the initial step before bills proceed to the floor):

  • SB1015 – removing medical confidentiality for minors. It allows parents to interfere in care for such matters as birth control, rape, or abortion.
  • HB2161 – expanding the “parental bill of rights” to allow the above, extending into such matters as what gender identity a child uses in school
  • HB2439 and HB2495 – banning books in schools that talk about sexuality and race.

Meanwhile, the Christian nationalist Pine Tree flag is still hanging in the House.

We are encouraging supporters to respond in the following ways:

1. If you are a Request to Speak user, sign in against the above bills and testify in person if possible.

2. Contact lawmakers on the above committees directly. You can use our action alert here.

3. Leave a message House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) at 602-926-3128 demanding the removal of the Pine Tree flag.

There’s going to be a lot coming down the pipeline this session. Trust us, we know it can feel overwhelming. If you need help getting involved, understanding what’s happening, or just connecting with a supportive community, please let us know. We’re in this together.