...In the U.S. House, the agenda is getting back to normal. They've got post office namings to attend to. :)
Of course, as important as such namings are to our national well-being, there are other issues that they'll be considering this week too.
- H.R. 325, the Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ7).
The CRS summary for H.R. 325 -
Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project - Amends the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior, in cooperation with Pima County, Arizona, to participate in the planning, design, and construction of water recycling facilities and to enhance and restore riparian habitat in the Black Wash Sonoran Desert ecosystem in Avra Valley west of the metropolitan Pima County area. Limits the federal share of the project's cost to 25%. Authorizes appropriations. Permits federal funds provided by this Act to be used only for the design, planning, and construction of water-related infrastructure.
The bill is on the suspension calendar, which means that the leadership expects to get the 2/3 support for the bill needed to pass it under a suspension of the rules.
- H.R. 2200, the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act. This one has a lot of money tied to it, so there will be a lot of debate over it. Jeff Flake has proposed an anti-earmark amendment to the bill.
- H.R. 626, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009. CRS summary here. Expect some serious Republican bloviating over this one.
- Possible consideration of a conference report on H.R. 2346, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009. $$$ = arguments. 'Nuff said.
- And in the "keep in mind for future reference" category, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by AZ5's Rep. Harry Mitchell, will be holding a hearing on VA hospital mistakes that led to veterans becoming infected with diseases like HIV and hepatitis. The hearing is scheduled for June 16 in Washington.
From AP -
A congressional panel will question Department of Veterans Affairs officials about mistakes that put patients at risk of possible exposure to HIV and other infectious body fluids at three VA hospitals.
The VA recommended more than 10,000 former VA patients in Miami, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga., get follow-up blood checks. Five have tested positive for HIV and 43 have tested positive for hepatitis, according to an update on the VA Web site Friday.
The subcommittee chairman, U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell D-Arizona, said Thursday in a phone interview that veterans who are testing positive for HIV and hepatitis, "whether it came from these improper procedures or not, the VA has a responsibility to take care of these patients."
The VA's webpage on the issue is here.
...Back in AZ in the legislature, most of the *really* interesting action is budget-related and is taking place behind closed doors.
There is some public activity, though.
The House has what looks to be a fairly non-controversial Third Read calendar posted for Monday and a somewhat more controversial Committee of the Whole (COW) calendar posted for Tuesday.
The COW calendar includes HB2198, a bill to create a "full and final settlement of claims" provision in AZ law regarding workers' comp cases. Provisions in the bill shift the liability for long-term medical expenses from the insurance carrier to the injured workers.
Also on the COW calendar is HB2628, the bill name by the sponsors as "the Parents' Bill Of Rights Act." While there are a few reasonable clauses in this one, those clauses exist to serve as concealment for a bunch of "my rules are better than society's rules" clauses.
- In committee action, House Rules is meeting on Monday (1 p.m., HHR4) to consider a couple of very controversial bills including HB2099, which would make charter schools subject to the same zoning laws as public schools (in other words, make it much easier for the charter school operators to shoehorn their businesses into neighborhoods over residents' objections) and HB2203, which seriously harshens the penalties faced by recipients of TANF, or Temporary Assistance For Needy Families. Any sort of non-compliance with any of the rules of TANF, including simple paperwork glitches by parents, would result in an escalating series of suspensions of benefits received by the children. Brought to you by the same Nancy Barto who is soooo dedicated to protecting the profits of private health insurers.
Nice priorities there, Rep. Barto. Remind me again - whose interests were you elected to represent?
House Health and Human Services is meeting on Tuesday at 10:30 in HHR4.
Over in the Senate, no committees are scheduled to meet at this time.
...The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is going to have a busy week.
- On Monday at 10 a.m., they will be holding their "informal" meeting. It looks to be pretty simple and mundane, except for item #4, yet another executive session.
- On Wednesday at 9 a.m., they will be holding their "formal" meeting. It also looks pretty mundane, but *long*. Of course, there will be an executive session following this one, too. (According to the posting notice, anyway.)
...The Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Project will be meeting on Thursday, June 4 at 10 a.m. The agenda includes a number of items related to tax rates and other stuff to prepare for the coming fiscal year.
...The Scottsdale City Council will be meeting on Tuesday night at 5, and they have a very full agenda. Included items include the appointment of a new City Auditor (Sharron Walker), a Truth-In-Taxation hearing on the property tax levy for the coming fiscal year (city property tax rate: $0.79, unchanged from last year), and a second and final hearing on the city's FY2010 budget.
...The Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District, the Board of Directors of the Maricopa Integrated Health System, the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, and the Tempe City Council are not scheduled to meet this week.