Our ability to preserve open space in the Sonoran Desert is being threatened by House Bill 2656.
The passage of HB 2656, currently under consideration by the Arizona State Legislature, would cripple our existing, successful bond process in Pima County.
Please tell your state legislators to oppose this legislation! (see contact info below)
Since our formation in 1998, the Coalition has been a strong advocate for open space funding through the Pima County bonding authority. In 2004, Pima County residents approved over $174 million in bond funds to acquire important conservation lands, places such as Cochie Canyon, Bar V Ranch in Davidson Canyon, and Tumamoc Hill. The bond passed successfully and garnered more citizen support than any other General Obligation bond on the ballot that year.
Now, legislation has been introduced to replace the current 25-person Pima County Bond Advisory Committee with a six member committee with one member appointed by the County and one member appointed by each incorporated city or town (and no representation from the Tohono O’odham Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe ). This bill would allow three members to block any proposal to approve a specific bond program or project. In essence, as little as 7 percent of the population in the County could dictate what would be included in a bond program for the other 93 percent of the population.
Our current system allows for a successful and inclusive process that serves all citizens of Pima County equally.
The “jurisdictional open space” category that was created as part of the 2004 open space bond allocated monies for the purchase of parcels of land in all local jurisdictions in the region. As well, the “habitat protection priorities” allocated monies for important biological lands throughout the region. Thus, all communities within Pima County were able to benefit from the creation of an open space preserve system, one that has provided enjoyment and value for all residents throughout the region, and will for generations to come.
Find out more about this bill and please tell your state legislators to oppose this legislation!
More resources about HB 2656:
HB 2656 Pima County Fact Sheet
Letter from the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection to HB 2656 Primary Bill Sponsor Rep. Terri Proud
Introduced version of HB 2656 from AZLEG.gov
Bill info (updated daily) from AZLEG.gov
HB 2656 related stories/editorials/letters-to-the-editor from the Arizona Daily Star
Google News: “pima county bond hb 2656”
Contact Your State Legislator
Telephone calls are the most effective!
(Don’t know your district? Find it here – enter your address and zip code in the lower left hand form)
Asteriks indicate legislators who are also sponsors of HB 2656
Sen. Gail Griffin* – email@example.com – 602-926-5895
Rep. Peggy Judd* – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-5836
Rep. David W. Stevens* – email@example.com – 602-926-4321
Sen. Al Melvin* – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-4326
Rep. Terri Proud* – email@example.com – 602-926-3398
Rep. Vic Williams* – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-5839
Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford – email@example.com – 602-926-5835
Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-3278
Rep. Macario Saldate IV – email@example.com – 602-926-4171
Sen. Paula Aboud – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-5262
Rep. Steve Farley – email@example.com – 602-926-3022
Rep. Bruce Wheeler – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-3300
Sen. Linda Lopez – email@example.com – 602-926-4089
Rep. Matt Heinz – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-3424
Rep. Daniel Patterson – email@example.com – 602-926-5342
Sen. Frank Antenori* – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-5683
Rep. David Gowan* – email@example.com – 602-926-3312
Rep. Ted Vogt* – firstname.lastname@example.org – 602-926-3235