According to CSPAN.org, "The Whip is a Senator elected by his/her party to count potential votes and promote unity in voting."
So what did the good Senator do on December 7, just a single day later?
He missed the cloture motion on HR6, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.
Thanks go out to Senator Kyl for serving that one up. :)
...The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) joined the senior staff of the state's three universities (including ASU President Michael Crow) in saying 'up yours' to the students of the state when it approved a sharp tuition increase (7% - 14%, depending on which school and other factors) this week.
Umm, from article 11, section 6 of the Arizona State Constitution (emphasis mine) -
The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible.
The tuition hike comes in the same year that Crow was given a 5-year contract extension at $720K per year (a 25% raise) plus hundreds of thousands in bonuses. [ASU State Press story here]
It looks an awful lot like ABOR wants the students of Arizona to pay for their fiscal irresponsibility. When the universities come around with their hands out, the legislature can always decline to budget more for public higher education; students and their families don't have that option.
How about this - freeze the pay of all university presidents and any employees earning over a set amount (say $100K) and eliminate all bonuses for such employees, all for a period of 5 years.
The 5 year period matches up nicely with Crow's contract, doesn't it?
After that, tie pay raises and bonuses for university management and senior staff to increases in state funding, with total of the raises not to exceed the percentage of increased state funding.
(i.e. - If the lege appropriates 10% more to the universities, the raises max out at 10%.)
Furthermore, bar any raises or bonuses in years with any tuition or fee hikes.
In other words, no more soaking the students and their families.
Yeah, I know it'll never happen.
...Congrats to LD17's Representative David Schapira on being recognized by Governor's Celebration of Innovation as one of the "Tech 10," ten legislators demonstrating "a clear understanding of the role technology can and will play inArizona's economic development."
...Another note on Rep. Schapira - in response to the tuition hike, he will sponsor legislation required a 2/3 vote from ABOR to raise tuition more than 5% or fees more than $200. (See that article on this hike)
Nice idea, but far too gentle. The best way to keep these guys out of students' wallets is to hit them in theirs.
...Bad News/Good News Department -
On Friday, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit brought the state's new employer-sanctions (anti-immigration) law. He said that the plaintiffs should not have brought action against the Governor and state attorney general. Instead, they should have targeted the state's county attorneys who will be responsible for enforcing the law.
Also on Friday, another court, this one in Maricopa County, ordered Sheriff Joe Arpaio to restore full visiting hours for attorneys and court personnel at the county jail. Arpaio had ordered limitations on such visits as a cost-cutting move. The affected attorneys objected because the hours that he left open for visits, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., conflicted with their court hours.
...The "Potentially Very Good News Department" -
This coming week, both of the chambers of the New Jersey legislature should vote on a proposal there to abolish the death penalty.
This is great news, but everyone should remember that New Jersey isn't exactly Texas when it comes to applying capital punishment - it hasn't carried out an execution since 1963.
Still, it's a great start.
Have a good weekend...