Safer Streets, Brighter Futures

A B⁠i⁠par⁠t⁠⁠i⁠san V⁠i⁠c⁠t⁠ory: Ar⁠i⁠zona’s New Re⁠t⁠a⁠i⁠l Thef⁠t⁠ Task Force

By: Paul Parisi / April 19, 2024

Paul Parisi

Arizona Grassroots Director

Safer Streets, Brighter Futures

April 19, 2024

On April 16, 2024, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs signed SB 1411 into law. This legislation creates a Retail Theft Task Force that will coordinate the efforts of law enforcement statewide. As we know, retail crime is a pressing issue for all Americans. Which is why Our America’s Hometown Heroes fought hard to make this bill law in Arizona.

There is an old quote attributed to Otto von Bismarck: “Laws are like sausages – better not to see them being made”.

Passing laws in Arizona this year has had its challenges. Arizona Republicans control both the House and Senate, but the state also has a Democrat governor. Republicans and Democrats inherently have philosophical differences and splitting factions within both parties, complicating matters even worse. 

As important as it is to have the governor sign a bill into law, certain individuals and committees wield extreme power. After a bill is written, the Speaker of the House decides what bills will be heard and get a First Read on the House floor where it is voted on. The same thing happens when bills are introduced in the Senate, where the Senate President approves bills that will be heard. Without approval, bills do not move forward.

Then bills must be heard in a committee. If a committee chair refuses to hear a bill, it could die right there. Fast forward: there are caucuses, Second Read, Committee of the Whole, Third Read, Final Read and then the bill is sent to the other chamber to repeat the process.

Along the way, amendments are made and behind-the-scenes drama unfolds, revealing the truth behind Prince von Bismarck’s quote about laws, “better not see them being made”.

Like on a football team, every member of the team must do their job to get the ball across the goal line. At the legislature, Our America teamed up with other like minded organizations and law enforcement agencies that championed SB 1411.

Our America used social media and emails to communicate several calls to action. As bills were being heard in committees, Hometown Heroes contacted committee members using Our America’s lawmaker contact system, made phone calls to lawmakers along with sending emails, and used the online Request to Speak system, urging legislators to pass the bill. 

In my role as Our America’s Arizona grassroots director, I worked with individual legislators and testified to the House Public Safety Committee expressing our strong support for the bill.

The final call to action was to contact Governor Hobbs. Our thanks to LD 19 Senator David Gowan, the main sponsor of SB 1411, who put the right ingredients into this legislation, securing bipartisan support and the governor’s signature.

In the end, Arizona Democrats and Republicans put their differences aside and came together as Americans to protect the rights and safety of all Arizonans.