Arizona: Governor Ducey Signs 9/11 Education Bill

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Also Signs 19 Other Bills Including Election Integrity Measures

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation to ensure Arizona kids learn about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, delivering on a promise to work with educators and lawmakers to make it mandatory in Arizona's schools.

"The events on September 11, 2001 shaped a generation and forever changed America," said Governor Ducey. "The tragic events that unfolded that morning bound us together and altered how we view the world. We have an obligation to teach our children about the events and ideas that made us who we are as a nation. On that day, we faced an attack on who we are and what we stand for: democracy, liberty and freedom. We're going to ensure future generations of Arizonans never forget how those values were defended on September 11, 2001."

House Bill 2325 requires that each year on September 11, every public school in Arizona will dedicate a portion of the school day to observe 9/11 Education Day.

Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, who sponsored the bill, has a personal connection to the tragic events of 9/11. Rep. Kavanagh served with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department for 20 years. He knew many of the officers from his department who gave their lives that fateful day.

"Thirty-seven members of my police force valiantly gave their lives trying to save and protect others on that tragic day. I will never forget the pain of that day," said Rep. Kavanagh. "Now, with this bill, we are ensuring our future generations never forget their sacrifice. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his leadership in civics education."

Currently, only 14 states require students to receive instruction about the events of September 11, 2001. Arizona would become the 15th.

"It is important that Arizona students learn about the events of 9/11," said State Board of Education President Dr. Daniel Corr. "By ensuring this day is in lesson plans, our youth will be armed with critical knowledge on the history of our nation and better understand the world we live in now. My thanks to Governor Ducey for his leadership on this issue and civics education."

The State Board of Education (SBE) will be required to develop a list of recommended resources relating to age-appropriate education on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 that align with the academic standards prescribed by the SBE.

"We must help our future generations of students – who did not experience the tragedy of September 11, 2001 – understand critical moments in our nation's history," said State Board of Education Member Christine Burton. "Now with 9/11 Education Day, we can support teachers with resources to teach and ensure there is time in the school day to ensure we never forget. Thank you to Governor Ducey for signing this legislation."

The current high school standards include domestic and international terrorism, but allow for instruction on a variety of topics and do not require instruction about 9/11 or our nation's response to 9/11.

If 9/11 Education Day falls on a day when a public school is not in session, the preceding or following school day is observed in the public school as the holiday.

Election Integrity

Under Governor Ducey's leadership, Arizona has furthered its leadership in protecting the state's voters and election integrity. Continuing to strengthen election laws, the governor signed Senate Bill 1008 today. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale, will update Arizona's automatic election recount margin threshold to one-half of one percent for specified election contests. As Arizona's population grows, it is necessary and prudent to continue prioritizing accountability. This election result confirmation process puts Arizona more in-line with other states' procedures.

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Homeowners Insurance Nondiscrimination

Also signed today was H.B. 2323, sponsored by Rep. Kavanagh. The bill prohibits insurance companies from considering only a dog's breed in an application for homeowner's insurance. The court must consider a dog's behavior rather than breed in determining whether a dog is aggressive.

The governor also signed:

S.B. 1319 vision screening; program (Kerr)
S.B. 1329 elections; counties; tabulation; posting (Boyer)
S.B. 1334 DUI; license suspensions; restrictions (Pace)
S.B. 1542 group homes; electronic monitoring (Barto)
S.B. 1579 tax corrections act of 2022 (Livingston)
S.B. 1580 money transmission; money transmitter licensure (Livingston)
H.B. 2025 schools; parental classroom visitation policies (Udall)
H.B. 2030 state hospital; procurement; overtime (Kavanagh)
H.B. 2081 risk management; liability; state agencies (Kavanagh)
H.B. 2086 DHS; school immunizations; exclusions (Osborne)
H.B. 2087 memorial; American Revolution; patriots' plaque (Osborne)
H.B. 2130 recreational users; property (Griffin)
H.B. 2355 second degree murder; sentencing (Biasiucci)
H.B. 2433 HIV testing; consent; repeal (Shah)
H.B. 2453 governmental entities; mask requirement; prohibition (Carter)
H.B. 2532 tribally accredited educational institution; plates (Blackwater-Nygren)
H.B. 2594 trauma recovery centers; grants (Toma)

BACKGROUND

Governor Ducey has been at the forefront of teaching important pieces of history in Arizona classrooms.


In September 2021, the governor announced his plans to work with educators and lawmakers to make the teaching of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks mandatory in Arizona's schools.

In July 2021, he signed legislation that will strengthen education on the Holocaust and other genocides in K-12 schools.

Governor Ducey signed legislation in 2020 marking September 25 as Sandra Day O'Connor Civics Celebration Day, a day in which a majority of in-person and online classroom instruction is devoted entirely to civics.

Additionally, the Governor in 2015 signed the American Civics Act to ensure all Arizona students understand American civics, requiring the passage of a civics test before graduating high school. It was the first bill he signed as Governor, making Arizona the first state in the nation to enact such a law.

Arizona has been a leader in election integrity and ensuring voter confidence.

On March 30, 2022, Governor Ducey signed legislation to ensure only U.S. citizens vote in Arizona's elections. H.B. 2492 requires Federal Only Voters, who are only eligible for casting a vote in federal elections, in Arizona to provide documentary proof of citizenship (DPOC).

The governor took a number of actions during the 2021 Legislative Session to protect Arizona voters, including signing:
  • S.B. 1002 to specify that the early ballot envelope must also not reveal the voter's political party affiliation.
  • S.B. 1003 to require the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections to make reasonable efforts to contact the elector and advise them of the missing signature on an early ballot envelope.
  • S.B. 1485 to rename Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) to Active Early Voting List (AEVL). Under this legislation, if a voter on the AEVL actively votes by mail, they will continue to receive an early ballot. If a voter on the AEVL does not return at least one early ballot over the course of four years (two consecutive primary elections and general elections, and any municipal elections that precede them) the voter will be sent a postcard asking if they still want to receive an early ballot.
  • S.B. 1492 to require for initiatives and referendums that a Proposition 105 notice be printed by the Secretary of State in the publicity pamphlet, in bold-faced type immediately below the Legislative Council analysis of the initiative or referendum.
  • S.B. 1530 to make a simple change regarding the envelopes that early ballots are mailed in, requiring the envelope that the ballot is mailed in state: "If the addressee does not reside at this address, mark the unopened envelope 'Return to Sender' and deposit it in the United States Mail".
  • S.B. 1714 to make several changes and additions to statute regarding campaign expenditures for out-of-state contributors as it relates to advertisements.
  • H.B. 2054 to require, rather than allow, the Arizona Secretary of State to compare the death records transmitted annually by the Arizona Department of Health Services with the Statewide Voter Registration Database.
  • H.B. 2307 to require the county board of supervisors, if the voting equipment used for an election rejects over-voted ballots or ballots containing irregularities, to provide a written notice on or near the voting equipment in clear view that advises if the voter chooses to override the overvoted office or measure or any other ballot irregularity, then the voter's vote for that office or measure will not be tallied.
  • H.B. 2308 to make a number of changes to recall petition submissions and circulations as well as to recall elections. The bill creates consistency between initiatives, referenda and recalls.
  • H.B. 2359 to require voting machines and electronic pollbooks containing data ports, plugs, doors, and other methods of physical or electronic access to be secured in a manner preventing unauthorized access to the voting machine or electronic pollbook during an election.
  • H.B. 2362 to require an election board judge to give a ballot privacy folder to a qualified elector along with the elector's ballot when voting at a polling location. This bill specifies that a voter is not required to accept or use a ballot privacy folder.
  • H.B. 2363 to allow a city or town to train its own election employees if the training program is approved by the Secretary of State.
  • H.B. 2364 to add to the identification requirements for informational and publicity pamphlet submissions for school district override, initiative and bond elections.
  • H.B. 2569 to prohibit the state, city, town, county, school district or other public body that conducts or administers elections from receiving or expending private monies for preparing, administering or conducting an election, including registering voters.
  • H.B. 2794 to stipulate that a political subdivision, agent or officer of this state or any other governmental entity may not alter or agree to alter any deadline, submittal date, filing date or other election-related date that is provided for in statute.
  • H.B. 2905 to prohibit a county recorder, city or town clerk or other election officer from delivering or mailing an early ballot to a person who has not requested an early ballot for that election or a person who is not on the active early voting list. Any violation by an election officer will be classified as a class 5 felony.

The Governor last year also vetoed H.B. 2360, which would have directed the Secretary of State to maintain and operate the driver license voter registration system with a committee of county recorders by December 31, 2021.

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