Arizona Senate Republicans Pass Bill to Prevent Climate Action

The Arizona Senate has passed a bill intended to address “anti-God, pro-Marxist ideology” by banning the use of public funds to combat climate change. The bill would also allow Arizona residents to sue any town, city, institution, or public university they believe has violated the provisions of the bill, even if they are not affiliated with it.

Senate Bill 1195 will prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for initiatives such as creating climate action plans, reducing motor vehicle use, and monitoring and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Senator Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, introduced the bill in response to what he describes as “anti-God, pro-Marxist ideology.” To prevent a veto, Republicans in the state House and Senate have also introduced almost identically worded resolutions, which could end up on ballots in November without Governor Katie Hobbs’ signature.

Sandy Bahr, the director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, asked “why [bill sponsors] would want to tie the hands of our government… in trying to address one of the biggest challenges we face.” Critics of the bill have also expressed concern that the overly broad language could lead to a flood of lawsuits that will slow or prevent climate action in the state.

The bill passed the Arizona Senate along party lines and has moved to the House for debate.