Commentary by Bob Karp
The Arizona House of Representatives faces many important issues during the current legislative session: the water crisis (yes there really is a water crisis), under-funding of public education, crumbling infrastructure throughout the state, criminal justice reform issues. Yet the Republican majority seems to think that the public needs to be protected from transgender athletes competing in high school sports. House bill HB 2706 was passed along party lines 31-29 in the house. The bill prohibits transgender athletes from participating in competitions other than in their biological sex.
Schools, parents, and athletic associations are better equipped to handle this than state government getting involved with invasive solutions. The Arizona Interscholastic Association already has adopted policies on screening. More interestingly, many businesses, including the Arizona Diamondbacks have come out in opposition to this bill.
The sponsor of this bill, Rep. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) admits there hasn't been an incidence of this being an issue in Arizona. Yet, the bill consumed most of the House’s workday, with debate dragging on for more than five hours.
The legislature meets for about 5 months each year and often runs out of time with a crush of last-minute bills getting passed that were never vetted. Important issues such as four water-related bills do not even get a hearing! But there is time for this sort of nonsense that only helps engage the Republican "culture wars" for their most conservative. base.
It is time to get back to the basics of governing. Focus on issues that impact the LD14 district. For too long Republicans have controlled the two chambers of the state legislature and have been encouraged to ignore critical issues in favor of frivolous bills that do little to improve Arizona. Let's ##FlipTheAZSenate and #FlipTheAZHouse. Elect new leadership in southeastern Arizona.
Read more about HB 2706 at AZCentral.com