Tag Archives: AZ Legislature

Letter to Gov. Brewer: Oppose HB 2549 Restricting Open Communication via the Internet

UPDATE: HB 2549 was actually STOPPED before reaching the Governor.

The Arizona Legislature is about to send HB 2549 for your signature. I strongly encourage you to veto the law as written.

The bill attempts to update Arizona’s stalking and telephone harassment laws for the digital age—in itself, perhaps a worthy goal—but the law as written is extremely and unconstitutionally broad. By simply substituting “electronic…device” for the word telephone, the law moves beyond regulating private, direct, person-to-person communications and threatens open, public communications via the Internet. The proposal dangerously omits any standard of reasonableness, and leaves critical terms undefined.

The constitutions of both the United States and the State of Arizona recognize and guarantee our freedom to speak and write freely—A law that criminalizes potentially annoying or offending someone stifles that freedom.

This bill should be returned to the legislature to be rewritten more narrowly to include only communications directed to a particular individual and which would cause a reasonable person to fear for one’s life, safety, or property.

To Tax or Not to Tax

That, in fact, is the question Arizona voters will be asked 18 May in a special election called at a cost of roughly $11mn.

Early voting has already begun on the proposed constitutional change to increase the state gross receipts tax rate (essentially a sales tax) from 5.6% to 6.6% for three years.

Arizona needs to do something to deal with its $6.3bn debt and projected deficit of $3-4bn (depending on who you ask) for 2010 . Governor Brewer and the Legislature have stated that there’s just nothing left to cut other than the “core government functions”—public safety and education.

But Proposition 100 is based on several false assumptions, and I urge you to oppose the tax increase. Continue reading To Tax or Not to Tax