Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The coming week....

...Due to a busy weekend and lots of stuff going on yesterday (some former Senator from Illinois visited Phoenix, and the lege still didn't finish a budget), it's a little later than normal, but here it is...

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

...Both chambers of Congress are still in recess until after Labor Day. Next week, Congressman Harry Mitchell (D-AZ5) will hold a "telephone town hall" on health care. The town hall is open to residents of CD5; those interested can sign up here.

...The Arizona Legislature is still in *special* session. The House will hold a brief floor session today, then recess for Rules Committee and Caucus consideration on SB1o25, the General Revenues BRB (aka - the state equalization tax repeal). It will then go into COW and Third Read and it will likely pass the bill and send it on to the Governor for her signature (it's rumored that she is likely to sign it and the rest of the budget).

...The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors held an "Informal" meeting yesterday (told ya this post is a little late :) ). Tomorrow, they'll be holding a "Formal" meeting. The agenda for that meeting looks to be pretty mundane, though one item on it caught my eye.

Item #19 calls for the removal of one "Richard Miranda" from the list of the County's pro tem justices of the peace.

Yes, that is the same "Richard Miranda" who is better known as "State Senator Richard Miranda."

At first glance, I wondered if this move might be payback for the failed budget moves involving Miranda (the Reps somehow "persuaded" him to vote for their budget, before he backed out...no, the *ran* out of the Senate building). Governor Jan Brewer is a former member of the MCBOS and still likely has some influence there. In addition, 4 out of the 5 current supes are highly partisan Reps and probably would have a problem with doing a little political hatchet work on a Dem.

However, a little research on this found that this issue has been percolating for a while, as some there believe that, legally speaking, a sitting member of the lege cannot serve as a JP.

There is some confusion on that issue, however.

Article 4, Part 2, Section 5 of the AZ Constitution, regarding "ineligibility of members of legislature to other public offices", states -
No member of the legislature, during the term for which he shall have been elected or appointed shall be eligible to hold any other office or be otherwise employed by the state of Arizona or, any county or incorporated city or town thereof. This prohibition shall not extend to the office of school trustee, nor to employment as a teacher or instructor in the public school system.
Seem pretty clear, right?

Not so much.

Article 4, Part 2, Section 4 of the same AZ Constitution, regarding disqualification for membership in the legislature, states (emphasis mine) -
No person holding any public office of profit or trust under the authority of the United States, or of this state, shall be a member of the legislature; Provided, that appointments in the state militia and the offices of notary public, justice of the peace, United States commissioner, and postmaster of the fourth class, shall not work disqualification for membership within the meaning of this section.

That's a large area of conflict, so I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Miranda may have a case if he wants to join the scores of others who have brought legal actions against the MCBOS.

Or he may not. I'm not a lawyer or even a knowledgeable amateur scholar of the nuances of Arizona's constitution.

For now though, it doesn't look as if there is any untoward going on here (Republican Russell Pearce was once a pro tem JP, but was removed from the list for the same reason), but the timing of this is still interesting.

Very interesting.

Stay tuned...

...The Tempe City Council is meeting on Thursday (agenda here). The agenda is 95 items long. It looked pretty non-controversial, but I freely admit that I didn't even try to read all of them. They've also scheduled a special meeting for Friday. That purpose of that one is for discussion of the Council's direction for the next year.

Not scheduled to meet this week (so far, anyway) - Arizona Corporation Commission (this week's hearing schedule is here, though), the Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District, the Boards of Directors of the Central Arizona Project and the Maricopa Integrated Health System, Arizona Board of Regents, Citizens Clean Elections Commission, and the Scottsdale City Council.

The relative peace of summer breaks will next week. That post will be longer, and on time. :)


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