More than a month before the next session of the AZ lege starts and legislators are already starting to drop bills.
The "honor" of the first bill with a number goes to Sen. Jim Waring's SB1001, a bill to compel all levels of government and schools in AZ to purchase web and video conferencing software.
Umm...pardon my cynicism, but it may be appropriate to check into Waring's ties to vendors of web and video conferencing software.
Waring also has a few other gems among the first bills assigned numbers - SB1002 would bar elected officials from using public funds in communications campaigns that refer to themselves or their employees; SB1003 amends the state's DUI laws. Current law has an exemption for certain lawfully prescribed medicines. Waring's bill would create an exemption to the exemption for methadone.
I don't know the chemical properties of methadone so there may be a valid reason for this, but this could just be a way to attack recovering addicts in a socially acceptable manner (socially responsible for Republicans, anyway).
Waring has a couple of other bills up already (he wants to shorten the period between primary elections and general elections), but the capper thus far isn't one of Waring's bills, it's one of Sen. Jack Harper's (R-the man who would be SOS).
In the face of what is considered the worst budget shortfall in the country, he has proposed to...wait for it...just a little longer...
Cut state revenues.
His SB1007 would repeal the state equalization property tax, $250 million dollar source of revenue dedicated to funding education.
So not only does Harper get to claim that he is a tax-cutter (appealing to the Club for Growth wing of the Republican Party), he gets to hamstring public education in the process (appealing to social conservative wing of his party.) While officially he is only "exploring" a 2010 run for Secretary of State, moves like this show that the exploratory part of his campaign committee is only a sham - he is already starting his campaign for statewide office.
And yes, Harper is already staking out his spot as a contender for the annual Legislative Loon award, to be given out in late January.
Thus far, the House doesn't have any bills up on its website, but that should change in a few days.