Quezada’s amendment would have clarified that state employees who are paid with federal dollars would not be affected by the bill. The amendment addresses provisions of HB 2571 that would put the state out of compliance with the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970. This act requires states receiving money from the federal government for certain agencies and programs to have a merit system in place in order for employees to be paid using federal money.
A "merit system" provides government employees protection from politically-motivated personnel decisions by requiring due process rights. Merit systems are commonly used all over the country by federal, state and local governments and were put in place to prevent political patronage.
If Arizona is out of compliance with these federal regulations, it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.
“This amendment would have helped to protect state employees and would have kept hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding coming into Arizona,” Quezada said. “Without the amendment, the implications of this legislation are devastating."
After lengthy debate in the Committee of the Whole, the amendment failed. Tea Party legislators passed the bill by a vote of 39-19. All House Democrats voting on the bill voted no. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.