Sunday, April 05, 2009

The coming week...

...All info culled from online sources and subject to change without notice...

...It's easy to cover the expected goings-on in Congress this week - there aren't any. Congress is on its Easter/spring recess.

...In the AZ Legislature, things are still officially "quiet" as the Senate President's "no bills until the budget is done" edict is still in force. However, both the Dems and the Reps have put out proposals for the coming fiscal year (yes, both proposals are wildly divergent and of the "PR fodder" variety, but they are still proposals) so there are some expectations of an imminent thaw on that front. Probably not this week, though.

- In House COW action, the most contentious debate could be over HB2103, a bill to authorize the state treasurer to employ legal counsel other than the state attorney general. Call this the "Dean Martin doesn't like Terry Goddard" bill. The fun part of this is that while Martin is trying to bypass the state AG because the AG's office isn't knowledgeable in the financial area and to "save the general fund a few million dollars." (State Treasurer Dean Martin, at the February 20, 2009 House Government Committee meeting), Martin's saddle partners Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio are opposing the Maricopa County supes' move to freeze Thomas out of the County's civil litigation for similar reasons.

Ahhhh..the Golden Rule of Politics - It's Only Hypocrisy When Someone Else Does It.

Unmentioned at the hearing, probably because it hadn't been generated yet, was the lege's fiscal note. A note formulated based on input from the Treasurer's office itself.

The highest specific number listed for the impact was $36,100. That was for the cost of attorney services at the current level utilized (94 hours), charged at the highest estimated hourly fee; however, the note mentions a non-specific savings because the AG's office gets a 35% cut of any monies that are recovered because of their services.

The fiscal note also mentions that this bill would have an unspecified impact on some local governments who invest with the Treasurer's office. They would end up having to cover some of the costs of the Treasurer's outside attorneys in an era when local governments across the state are chopping services and employees.

- The committee side of the lege looks to be fairly quiet (for now, anyway :) ).

Over in the House, the Rules Committee will be meeting at 1 p.m. in HHR4. The agenda there is lengthy, but seems to be fairly uncontroversial at this point.

At 11 on Tuesday morning, there will be a joint meeting of the House Commerce and Health and Human Services committees in HHR 5 to hear a presentation on the " Impact of the Hidden Healthcare Tax on Business (Prepared for the Arizona Chamber Foundation - presented by Randy Haught of The Lewin Group)."

On the Senate side of the complex, the committees that meet will be meeting mostly to consider executive appointments. The most interesting (OK, the one with the most familiar names) of those could be at Tuesday's meeting of the Senate's Commerce and Economic Development Committee (1:30 p.m., SHR1). There, they will considering the appointments of former Corporation Commissioners William Mundell and Jeff Hatch-Miller as Registrar of Contractors and to the AZ State Lottery Commission, respectively.

...Arizona Corporation Commission - no meetings scheduled.

...Maricopa County Board of Supervisors - no meetings scheduled at this point, though with the constant legal wrangling between the supes and Andrew Thomas/Joe Arpaio, something could pop up on short notice.

...Governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District - no meetings scheduled.

...The Board of Directors of the Maricopa Integrated Health Systems - no meetings scheduled, but they'll be involved with a conference at the Phoenician through Wednesday.

...The Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Project - On Thursday, there will be meetings of the Board's Public Policy Committee and of the Board itself in Casa Grande.

...Tuesday night, the Scottsdale City Council will hold a regular meeting followed by a joint meeting with the Budget Review Commission. At the joint meeting, the two groups will hear about the City Manager's plan to address budget issues. The plan includes elimination of 150 more positions (some through attrition, some through layoffs) and the elimination of retiree health coverage for future employees.

Other events -

- Thursday, 9 a.m. - Governor Jan Brewer will attend a "special summit" of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to discuss budget issues.

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

- Also on Thursday...

Sustainability Town Hall with Congressman Harry Mitchell
2 to 3:30 p.m. (registration at 1:45 p.m.)
SkySong, 1475 N. Scottsdale Road (southeast corner at McDowell; enter off McDowell)
Topic: Green jobs today for a strong economy tomorrow.
RSVP: Adralyn, adralyn.wendel[at] or (480) 946-2411.



Nestor said...

I just want to thank you for posting a link to the Scottsdale plan for the future from John Little. I couldn't find it on the Scottsdale website anywhere! I also notice tonight that the stream for the current council meeting that started at 5 is not posted on their website. To find it, you have to go to this page: and click on "start broadcast." Can't help but wonder if they're trying to keep the public from really knowing what's going on.

cpmaz said...

Just for future reference...

On the Scottsdale City Council's agendas, most of the items are hyperlinked to the underlying documents regarding that items (staff reports, applications, etc.). That's where I found the stuff from John Little.

And, as shocking as this may sound coming from a constant critic of AZ government like me, but they actually do a fairly good job here on the "open government" front. It's not perfect, but you can find *lots* more info online here than almost anywhere else in the U.S.