Sunday, July 26, 2009

The coming week...

As usual, all info gathered from the websites of the relevent political bodies/agencies, and subject to change without notice...

...In the U.S House of Representatives this week, the agenda is again a full one, and again, most of the bills up for consideration are pretty mundane.

Of course, again there are a couple of nuggets that will generate some serious conflict.

- H.R. 1035, the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009, sponsored by AZ's Raul Grijalva and cosponsored by the other four Democratic members of AZ's delegation, Ann Kirkpatrick, Gabrielle Giffords, Harry Mitchell, and Ed Pastor.

- H.R. 3326, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010. Lots of money, lots of arguments. Jeff Flake alone plans to file 540 amendments to this bill.

H.R. 3326 is scheduled for a Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday at 3 p.m. (noon AZ time).

- H.R. 3269, the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009. CRS summary here. This one could have the effect of limiting some of the more outrageous executive compensation packages that were seen at the height of the economic bubble and that some corporations are itching to bring back.

...Over in the U.S. Senate, they'll be starting the week with floor consideration of H.R. 3183,"appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies." Various committees will be considering other budget bills during the week. Also, there will be continuing consideration of Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

In addition to all that, expect more hubbub over President Obama's health care reform plan.

...Back here in the AZ lege, the never-ending session is, well, not ending. Not this week, anyway. They are scheduled to meet this week, but thus far the plans seem to include only a prayer and a pledge. The rooms where the deals are made may no longer be "smoke-filled" (since smoking in public buildings is illegal), but closed doors are even less transparent. It's looking more and more like they're going to futz around until the last possible moment, then engage in a round of panic cutting in order to balance the rest of the budget.

...The Arizona Corporation Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Phoenix. The agenda is a full one. Hearing schedule here.

...The Governing Board for the Maricopa County Community College District will meet on Tuesday for an executive session at 5:30 p.m. and a regular meeting at 6:30. The agenda is long and mostly boring. There is a monitoring report on the District's budget status that might be a little interesting, and a contract award for management consulting services too, but that seems to be it thus far.

...The Citizens Clean Elections Commission is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. No agenda posted yet.

...The political highlight of the week, at least in Central AZ, seems to be the trial of State Senator John Huppenthal on Wednesday. It is scheduled to be at 8 a.m. in the San Marcos Justice Court, but it is highly likely that it will take place in another courtroom in that building (there are four Justice Courts in that one building) as Huppenthal and his attorney have waived a jury trial in their case but there is a jury trial scheduled for that specific courtroom that day. If you are a total geek and plan to go watch the trial, get there a little early and inquire as to which courtroom the case has been assigned.

The incident that merited the charges pertain to some shenanigans on Election Day last November that involved tampering with some political signs critical of him and a confrontation/assault with an elderly Democratic activist.

All charges are misdemeanors (hence the assignment of the case to a justice court) and will result in no more than a slap on the wrist, even if he is convicted.

Background on the Huppenthal matter from Ray Stern of the Phoenix New Times here.

Thus far, the Arizona Board of Regents, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the Boards of Directors of the Central Arizona Project and the Maricopa Integrated Health System, and the City Councils of Scottsdale and Tempe are not scheduled to meet this week.

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