Friday, February 29, 2008

LD17 legislators in the news

State Senator Meg Burton-Cahill -

...Sen. Burton-Cahill attended a forum in Tempe regarding health concerns at Corona del Sol High School. From the AZ Republic -

A forum organized to ease the minds of the Corona del Sol High School community turned to outrage as teachers, parents and students stood one after another to describe tumors, cancers, asthma attacks and other diseases plaguing their bodies since coming to the school.

The Tempe Union High School District had hoped to quell fears and rumors about an aging ventilation system partly to blame, according to a 2006 health study, for causing mold, raising carbon dioxide levels and spurring health complaints from staff.


"This is not a taxpayer problem. This is a Legislature (problem). Where is . . . District 17 and 20 representatives," [Resident A.J.] Lafaro asked.

District 17 representative Meg Burton Cahill was the only one to announce her presence.

"We don't have the numbers (of votes)," she said. "We need (legislators) who do more than say they support schools. We need (legislators) who say they support funding schools."

...Burton-Cahill was mentioned in an ASU Web Devil article about her bill to regulate tattoo parlors, SB1321. No quotes, though.

...She was also mentioned in an AZ Rep article about the lege's consideration of Sen. Jack Harper's bill to block local ordinances restricting the activities of sign walkers, SB1076.

From the article -
A state senator wants to prevent local governments from stopping someone like Jim Torgeson from twirling a sign to promote a business.

Torgeson, owner of Jet Media Promotions, spoke on Monday in favor of a bill that would restrict a city or town's right to regulate so-called "sign-walkers."

Promoters say it's about free speech and earning a living. Those voting against it said municipalities should have local control.

"We make the public policies for the state," said Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, who sponsored Senate Bill 1076.


Sen. Meg Burton Cahill, D-Tempe, said Harper's bill interferes with local control.

"I do not think that we should mandate cities and towns at the municipal level about commercial advertising," she said.

Burton Cahill, who voted against the bill, said that Torgeson's primary interest is financial and not based on freedom of speech.
...She was also in articles about a measure to stop state investment in Sudan because of the Darfur genocide (AZ Capitol Times) and another article about the move to regulate tattoo parlors (Glendale Star). Both of those sites require a premium login to view their content.

State Representative Ed Ableser -

...Ableser has been receiving a lot of coverage of his bill to require hybrid vehicles to make more noise, for the safety of blind pedestrians.

From the AZ Daily Star -
...[O]ne state lawmaker, alarmed that hybrid cars are getting too quiet, is seeking to actually make them noisier.

The concern is centered on the danger quiet hybrids could pose to the blind — with their technology so good at muting sound that they have become unnoticeable to the ear.

"Hybrid cars are amazing, and I think one of the unintended consequences of this new technology is that it is so effective in reducing noise on the streets, the fear is that our blind citizens are in danger crossing the road," says state Rep. Ed Ableser, D-Tempe, who is pushing a bill in the Legislature to require hybrids to make more noise. "If you drive a hybrid, you're not going to want someone who is listening to cars stepping out into the road in front of your hybrid."
...He was featured in an ASU Web Devil article about Tempe's Fifth Annual Regional Unity Walk.

From the article -

Rep. Ed Ableser of Tempe, an ASU public administration and justice studies doctoral student, walked Saturday for the fifth time.

"Keeping [the walk] in Tempe is so much more effective," he said. Ableser said Tempe is one of the most diverse cities in Arizona, adding that more than 80 languages are spoken here.

"Where better to have a walk [focused on] diversity and acceptance and multiculturalism?" he said.

...From a Tucson Citzen article about legislative proposals to assist deployed troops -
Rep. Ed Ableser, D-Tempe, introduced HB 2519, which would require health spas and clubs to allow suspension or cancellation of membership for the duration of a service member's deployment. The bill, which Paton also is sponsoring, is moving toward a vote by the full House.

Ableser said he wrote the bill after a former House page serving in Iraq with the Air Force accrued two years of health spa fees while away.

...From an ASU Web Devil article about a bill [HB2230] that would require textbook publishers to disclose information about prices, editions, and copyrights -
Ableser, an ASU instructor, told the committee he voted for the amendment to move the bill forward, but said he remained concerned.

"We would be faulty to assume that [students] have much choice in the bookstore," he said. "They're held hostage in what they have to buy."
The amendment that Ableser expressed concerns with weakened the bill, changing the bill to call on publishers to reveal that info only on written request.

Note: The Web Devil piece cited the relevant bill as HB2736 in error. That bill references early graduation scholarships.

State Representative David Schapira -

...Schapira was quoted a number of times in this Yuma Sun article regarding HB2713, a bill that purports to protect students' rights to express their religious viewpoints. The wording of the bill actually protects, among other things, a student's ability to answer scientific questions with religious answers.

It's an interesting article; I suggest reading it in its entirety.

...The Wickenburg Sun ran a piece about HB2008, Schapira's bill renewing alternative graduation requirements for students who don't pass the AIMS test, but meet a list of other requirements.

From the article -
“This is an urgent issue. As a high school teacher, I met countless students who proved themselves proficient in course work, but had difficulty performing on high-stakes tests. Many of these students are college-bound,” Rep. Schapira said. “If the legislature fails to approve this bill, thousands of students will not graduate. By depriving a hard-working student of a high school diploma, we are putting their future and quality of life in jeopardy.”

Note: the previous alternative standard expired last month.

...Schapira was featured in an AZ Daily Star article about committee passage of HB2557, a bill that would bar local school districts from dropping elective courses such as PE, Art, and Music without permission of the Arizona Department of Education.

From the article -
Rep. David Schapira, D-Tempe, said the ability to drop programs with permission of the state Board of Education ensures that no district will be unnecessarily burdened.

I won't do this sort of post regularly, but I do expect to do a few more before the end of the legislative session.


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