By Howard Fischer || Capitol Media Services
Updates: Reflects that the Senate did give this measure preliminary approval and removed the contracting provision. The bill is now set for a roll call vote on Tuesday.
Two years after banning the use of public funds for so-called “critical race theory,” a Queen Creek Republican lawmaker is now going after programs that promote diversity, equality and inclusion.
SB 1694 would make the use of public funds for such programs illegal. That covers not just state and local governments but also universities and community colleges.
Also forbidden under the proposal by Sen. Jake Hoffman would be requiring workers for any of these entities to participate.
But the implications of the legislation, awaiting a final roll-call vote, go beyond the government and its workers. It also would preclude any requirement that companies that contract with the government have such diversity programs.
Hoffman, woke, inclusion, diversity, bill,
Hoffman said his measure to outlaw diversity, equality and inclusion training is simply an extension of a bill he got the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve and then-Gov. Doug Ducey to sign two years ago banning training, orientation or therapy “that presents any form of blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity or sex.” He said SB 1694 is necessary to pick up where that 2021 legislation left off.
“These have become a prevalent tactic of the Left to shame employees and to shame folks within the trainings,” Hoffman said in pushing his measure through the Senate Government Committee earlier this year. He said that eliminating such training “gets us back to doing the job that they’ve been hired to on behalf of the people.”
As crafted, what SB 1694 would prohibit is comprehensive.
It would cover any description of methods to identify, dismantle or oppose systems, privilege or subordination on the basis of race, sex, color, gender, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.
But it’s even broader than that.