Arizona's Voice for Secular Government

I'm Secular and I Vote

Working to Lobby AZ Governement and Officials

A Vibrant and Growing Community

Legislative Committee passes first non-secular bill of 2015

Today, by a vote of 4-3, the House Education Committee passed HB 2174, a bill which would expand school vouchers to grandchildren.  Please send a "THANK YOU" note to the legislators who voted AGAINST the bill. Click here to use our online "ACTION ALERT" system.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Finchem, who said it was brought to his attention by a national group that promotes "school choice".

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Your Boots on the Ground!

Opening Day 2015

The 52nd Arizona State Legislature began today, and the Secular Coalition for Arizona was there. 

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SC AZ Endorses Six Candidates in General Election

Endorsements Open to All, Regardless of Political or Religious Affiliation
 
PHOENIX (October 6, 2014) –Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) is pleased to endorse the following candidates running for state and federal office during the upcoming Arizona General Election.

James Woods, U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District
Lela Alston, Arizona House candidate, LD24
Lanny Morrison, Arizona House candidate, LD6
Cara Prior, Arizona House candidate, LD16
Scott Prior,Arizona Senate candidate, LD16
Bruce Wheeler, Arizona House candidate, LD10

The SC Arizona Board of Directors grants endorsements. Any candidate may apply, regardless of political or religious affiliation, or their stance on issues other than support for a secular government.

“Our goal is to ensure that Arizona’s public policy making is free of religious intrusion –an aim shared by each of these candidates,”said Zenaido Quintana, Board Chairman, SC Arizona.  “We thank these individuals for publicly supporting secular government, and are pleased to endorse each as a Secular Candidate for legislative office.”

For more information on these candidates, please visit their respective campaign websites.

Endorsement Criteria and Process

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Secular Coalition Official Position on the Arizona Office of Faith and Community Partnerships

Send a message to Governor Brewer using our "Action Alert System".  Click here.

Full Text of Executive Order 2014-06 Here

Background
On August 29, 2014, Governor Jan Brewer signed Executive Order 2014-06, establishing the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships and the Arizona Council on Faith and Community Partnerships.

This new Office and Council replace the Arizona SERVES taskforce and website, established by Executive Order 2010-07 and 2010-16.  The current board of the Arizona SERVES taskforce includes:
-          Five Christian Pastors
-          Seven Leaders of Christian-based non-profit organizations (including the lobbying group “Center for Arizona Policy”, an organization which is well-known for its extremist religious agenda)
-          Three State Employees
-          Two Undefined “Public Advocates”
-          Two Leaders from secular non-profit organizations

ArizonaSERVES was tasked with five goals:

  1. Encourage foster care
  2. Facilitate free/reduced child care services
  3. Provide supervised CPS visits
  4. Promote elder independence/assist grandparents raising grandchildren
  5. Provide transportation to underserved

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2014 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The Session Wrap-Up is your definitive 'inside guide' to SC Arizona's increasingly effective secular-minded legislative activities.  Click here to get the inside scoop.

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The 2014 Secular Scorecard is Here!

Sine Die

Our legislature ended the legislative session late last week.  We had some very big wins this session, and we are so proud to be your voice at the Arizona legislature.

 

We're developing our "Secular Scorecard" and Session Wrap-Up, which will contain more detailed information on each bill we worked on this session, plus we'll let you know how your legislator scored on Secular issues. 

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Religious Privilege Bill Vetoed!

HB2281: Expanding Religious Privilege

We did not give up on this bill, and neither did you! Over 430 emails were sent to Governor Brewer, asking her to veto the bill using our action alert system.  For every message that was sent, and for every phone call that was made - we thank you.

On Tuesday, April 22, Governor Brewer vetoed HB2281, the bill which would've raised property taxes on hardworking Arizonans in order to give a $2.1M property tax exemption to churches.

 

Governor Brewer: VETO HB2281 - Don't Raise Our Property Taxes!

Click here to send a message to Governor Brewer

The Arizona State Senate and House of Representatives voted to raise your property taxes statewide by $2.1M in order to give a tax handout to religious groups who lease property.  

Groups including the Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, a hate group that has earned "church" status for tax exemptions.

House Bill 2281, currently on the Governor's desk, is not the kind of legislation that will galvanize opposition the way the virulently regressive SB 1062 did.  But make no mistake: HB 2281 is yet another way for far-right lawmakers to curry favor with Cathi Herrod’s Center for Arizona Policy and the narrow, fundamentalist interests it represents. 
 
The CAP-written bill is little more than taxpayer-funded giveaway to religious institutions – groups that are already free from most taxes – in the guise of a banal revision to Arizona’s property tax laws.  If passed, HB 2281 would re-classify properties leased to religious organizations in a way that would cost the state $2.1 million. 
 
That $2.1 million could be used to fund our malnourished public education programs, provide job training in a state that suffers an 8.2 percent unemployment rate, or support frustratingly anemic solar programs in the sunniest state in the US.
 
But none of those options – small investments that will pay huge dividends – would mollify zealots like CAP.  So the legislature will continue bowing to special interests that represent a tiny sliver of the state’s otherwise moderate population.
 

Legislative Update

The religious-right wing of the Arizona legislature like to quietly push bills through that will benefit their agenda in several ways.  What we've found is that when we are LOUD about these bills, sometimes the bill dies.  

Check out what happened this week in what we're calling the "Trinity of Religious Handouts":

 

Handout #1-   HB2281: Expanding Religious Privilege in Tax Law 

 

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