Saturday, June 13, 2009

The coming week, legislative edition

As with last week, the calendar of the AZ legislature is so full that it merits its own post.

Note: This post doesn't even come close to being a comprehensive listing of all of the bad (and not-so-bad) bills that the lege will consider this week. If you have a specific area of interest, I strongly recommend determining which committee covers that area, and perusing that committee's agenda.

There's all sorts of noise over the budget - a deal is imminent, they're not even close, the Governor is making plans to shut down the state, a budget is going to the Governor this week, etc.

We'll know that the budget is done when it is done.

Of course, it won't actually be done at that point - anything produced by this legislature is likely to end up in court anyway, so even after the governor signs a budget, we're going to have to wait until a few judges have their say.

Until then, however, both chambers of the lege have shifted into overdrive, trying to cram five months of legislative work into three weeks.

Over in the Senate this week, so far only the floor schedule (specifically, a Third Read, aka Final Passage, calendar) for Monday is posted so far. Lowlights here include SB1113 (Guns in Bars), SB1175 (requires all government officials to enforce federal immigration laws and makes trespassing by an undocumented immigrant a crime), SB1280 (making harboring an undocumented immigrant a felony) and SB1444 (allowing the lege to seize and reappropriate non-custodial federal monies granted to entities in Arizona). This is *not* a complete list by any means; if you are interested, I recommend reading the entire calendar linked above.

In Senate Committee action...

...On Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Committee on Natural Resources is meeting in SHR109. The agenda includes a striker to SB1118 from Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-"mining companies are our friends") that would ease some construction-related pollution standards; SB1147, barring state agencies from adopting fuel economy or greenhouse gas emission standards; and a striker to SB1256 from Sylvia Allen that looks like it could be ok, though since it has to do with mining, I could be missing some of the nuances. They have placed some House bills on the agenda tentatively, pending processing (passage by the House, and Senate First Read, Second Read, and assignment to committee).

...Also on Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Judiciary Committee is meeting in SHR1. Gems on that agenda include State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne's Sen. Jonathan Paton's striker to SB1069 that would outlaw ethnic education courses (wanna-be AG Horne is targeting some Mexican studies courses in Tucson with this. Apparently, he is trying to appeal to the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other nativists in his party.); SCR1025, a proposal by Paton and Sen. Steve Pierce to end Clean Elections' public financing of elections (aka the "return to wholesale corruption act."); and SCR1026, the Republican caucus' proposed anti-Employee Free Choice Act amendment to the AZ constitution.

...On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. (or upon adjournment of the Joint Committee on Capital Review), the Government Institutions committee will meet in SHR1. That agenda has already been discussed.

...On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the Commerce Committee will be meeting in SHR1. As would be expected from a committee chaired by everyone's favorite nativist winger Russell Pearce, this agenda is chock full of chunks of rancidness. The committee will be considering HB2103, a bill to exempt the State Treasurer from having to use the Attorney General's office for legal services. AKA the "Republican Dean Martin doesn't like Democrat Terry Goddard" bill; an anti-immigrant striker to SB1024 from Russell Pearce. Also, Pearce striker to SB1038 relating to revenue sharing with Native American tribes; and a slate of proposed amendments to the AZ constitution that have one thing in common - if enacted, they would have the effect of making Arizona a slightly worse place to live. They include SCR1006, a proposal to inflict some TABOR-like limits on AZ government, SCR1009, the lege's attempt to break the protections of the Voter Protection Act; and SCR1031, the anti-affirmative action measure championed by Ward Connerly.

...On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., the Public Safety Committee will be meeting in SHR3. On the agenda: HB2610, the lege's plan to protect manufacturers of police equipment from product liability issues; and two measures from Cap'n Al Melvin that look almost (I can't believe I'm saying this :) ) responsible legislation. His SB1440 would ban smoking in a vehicle if there are minors in the vehicle and his SB1443 would ban texting or use of a cell phone (without a hands-free device) while driving.

...On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Healthcare Committee will meet in SHR1. Carolyn Allen chairs this committee, so the agenda looks to be free of the little nuggets of rancidness that Pearce brings to his committee.

...On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m, the Veterans Committee will meet in SHR2. The highlight here is a Jack Harper amendment to SB1055 relating to the creation of a Homeland Security Force. No text available online as yet, but if this is anything like his previous proposals in this area, he is trying to create an anti-immigrant vigilante force and have it chartered (and armed!) by the state.

...On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the Finance Committee will meet in SHR3. This agenda includes a striker to SB1321, related to "job training tax suspension" (no text available as yet).

...On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the Education Committee will meet in SHR1. The ugly here includes SB1172, Pearce's proposal to compel school districts to monitor the immigration status of their students. There are a number of other bills on this agenda, but some of them are awfully technical and I don't understand the nuances of those bills.

...On Thursday at 8:00 a.m., the Government Committee will meet for the second time during the week, again in SHR1. The agenda includes Pearce's SB1173, another one of his anti-immigrant bills; Ron Gould's SB1348, making it a class one misdemeanor to knowingly give false information to a public official, commission, or board; and Steve Pierce's SB1269, making it more difficult for citizens of an area that is the subject of a proposed rezoning to object to that rezoning.

...On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Retirement Committee will be meeting in SHR3. Any committee meeting chaired by Ron Gould (R-Flies a Confederate flag on July 4) is certain to have some color, and this one is no exception. Among other items, they'll be considering Gould's SCM1003, a letter to the U.S. Congress begging them to let AZ out of the U.S. interstate highway system.

Over in the House, things look to be quieter. So far, anyway.

Monday's third reading calendar appears to be pretty mundane; the only item of interest thus far should be HB2369, to allow the lege to appropriate non-custodial federal funds.

Tuesday's COW calendar (and here) is similarly quiet so far. The only seriously controversial measure appears to be HB2099, which would force cities and towns to treat charter schools in the same way as public schools for zoning purposes.


1 comment:

Thane Eichenauer said...

Claiming that eliminating Raza/Chicano and African-American studies put you in the same camp as neo-Nazis is (in my opinion) a sad and counterproductive argument.

It looks to me that this is part of the current liberal argument set that modern day liberals are using these days instead of having rational and defensible positions.

Instead of leaving it at arguing the benefits of a Raza/Chicano studies you claim racism and neo-fascism.

We live in Arizona, a region whose current government and society are drawn from a history which can best be simplistically called English.

If a Raza/Chicano society were head and shoulders improvement on our current English society then there wouldn't be thousands of undocumented workers leaving Mexico (and the rest of South America) for the United States each year.

I am sure than Mexican schools have a curriculum that is strongly Raza/Chicano based but for all the self-esteem that may provide them that doesn't apparently reduce the overall level of poverty prevalent in Mexico.

Trying to label Arizona voters who think Americans shouldn't pay for Mexican History studies with their tax dollars white supremacists and nativists only serves to highlight the fact that by and large that American (English) society and government is superior (by and large) to that found in Mexico.

I personally think that the La Raza/Chicano supremacists in Tuscon who work for Arizona government schools should focus on teaching those ideas and history that have served Arizona well (American history) and not allying themselves with the Chicano racial identity movement.

Chicano supremacists are welcome to further educate their children on their own time and on their own dime.

Of course, being a Libertarian, I would prefer to live in a land where government doesn't control education, but that is a discussion for another day.