Sunday, May 24, 2009

The coming week...

As usual, all info culled from the websites of the relevant political bodies and agencies and subject to change without notice...

...The U.S. Congress is on recess for the Memorial Day week. They'll gavel back into session next week.

...The AZ Legislature may be making up for that though. The "special" session to save Steve Yarbrough's STO will take up much of the lege's attention on Tuesday, and there are sure to be developments on the budget front (just no guarantees that there will be, you know, a budget passed.

On Tuesday, House Ways and Means (10 a.m., HHR1), House Rules (1:05 p.m.,HHR4) and Senate Appropriations (2 p.m., SHR109) will all be meeting in regard to the special session's SB1001 and HB2001. No floor schedule for either chamber is posted as yet, but quick passage is expected.

Note: Yarbrough sits on both of those House committees, and serves as vice chair of the Rules Committee.

Note2: Sen. Jack Harper has proposed SB1002, a bill to have the state, nearly-bankrupt that is it, pay for a special election for a constitutional amendment (SCR1001) to crack open the state constitution's prohibition against appropriating public money for religious purposes or private or sectarian schools.

The proposal would create an exception for monies to school programs that provide "PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION TO PUPILS WITH DISABILITIES AND PUPILS WHO HAVE BEEN IN FOSTER CARE." (Their caps, not mine.)

The amendment was proposed by Harper and cosponsored by Sen. John Huppenthal, the man who wants to be the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

- Most regular session activity looks to be in the House.

On Tuesday, House Health and Human Services is meeting at 9:30 a.m. in HHR4 and House Rules is meeting on at 1 p.m., also in HHR4. The highlight/lowlight of those should be HHS's consideration of Rep. Nancy Barto's striker to HCR2014. Her striker is a constitutional amendment to protect corporate-controlled health care. It's very similar in nature to a proposal that Congressman John Shadegg sponsored during the last session of Congress.

Some may question my characterization of the measure's purpose (protect corporate health care profits), but Barto has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday. There will be four guests - three from corporate shill "free market" think tanks (Pacific Research Institute, Goldwater Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council) and just one doctor. And if that 3-1 ratio of corporatists to medical professionals doesn't convince you that Barto's primary concern is something other than the best interests of Arizonans in general and her constituents in particular, that doctor is an author for one of the shill groups.

In House floor action, there is a COW agenda and a Third Reading Calendar (aka final passage through the House) posted. The most controversial measure on those appears to be another corporate-defense measure, this one sponsored by Rep. Jim Weiers. HB2610 would make it significantly more difficult for plaintiffs to prevail in product and civil liability cases. This one came up earlier this month for COW consideration but was held at the time.

...The Arizona Corporation Commission is meeting on Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m.

...The Board of Directors for the Central Arizona Project are not meeting this week.

...The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors isn't scheduled to meet this week, but that is usually subject to change. And probably will be for the duration of the various lawsuits involving the supes against the sheriff, county attorney, and even the county treasurer.

...The Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District will have a busy week, with a regular meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and special meetings on Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Among the items on the agenda for the regular meeting on Tuesday: a motion to approve a 10 year contract with a company to operate the district's bookstores. A comparison of self-operated vs. contract-managed bookstores here. One of the issues considered was the rising cost of textbooks.

The 10 a.m. meeting on Friday is an executive session meeting for the "discussion or consideration of employment of chancellor" and to seek legal advice regarding the same. It looks like standard annual evaluation stuff, but I'm not on the District's confidential email list, so it could easily be something else entirely.

The 1 p.m. meeting concerns the search for a vendor of management consulting services for the district. No links or details online, which is somewhat curious, given that MCCCD is usually pretty good about making this stuff available. More details later if they become available.

...The Governing Board for the Maricopa Integrated Health System is meeting on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m and 1 p.m.

The early meeting is an executive session regarding "Retention of One or More Lawyers or Law Firms to Provide Legal Services to the Board." What is it about county entities and the need for the services of lawyers? :)

The later meeting is a regular meeting, covering the April financial report, medical and allied health staff appointments, strategic planning, and budget stuff.

...The Citizens Clean Election Commission isn't meeting this week.

...The Arizona Board of Regents isn't meeting this week.

...The Tempe City Council will be meeting on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The agenda looks packed but mundane, filled with things like final plat approvals and service contract awards. There will also be an executive session concerning litigation/contracts regarding billboards, purchase of real property, and negotiations with employee organizations.

...The Scottsdale City Council isn't meeting this week.


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