Sunday, November 01, 2009

The coming week...

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

This week looks to be an active one at all levels of the political food chain.

...In the U.S. House, the agenda has many of the usual memorials and such, as well as a couple of more controversial bills, but most of the country's attention will be focused on one bill that *may* be heard this week -

H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Preliminary analysis of the bill from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) here. Also, the CBO has a brief explanation of its analyses and a comparison of this bill and the health care reform measure passed by the Senate Finance Committee here.

...Over in the Senate, their work will probably be overshadowed by the hubbub in the House, but their committee schedule is here.

...Back here in Arizona, the budget is still out of balance and the lege and Governor are still fiddling around. The pace of the make-work is picking up though, so maybe they'll start thinking about doing their real job.

Of course, they may just want to be in town early to get the best seats for next weekend's Nazi rally at the Capitol (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Senate lawn).

On to the schedule of make-work -

- The Ad Hoc Committee on Mining Regulations will meet on Monday at 1 p.m. in HHR1. The committee's co-chair is Sen. Sylvia Allen, so expect something along the lines of "the Earth was created without regulations 6000 years ago, and if no regulation worked then, it'll work now."

- The Ad Hoc Committee on Energy and Water Development will meet on Monday at 9 a.m. in HHR3.

- The House Education and Senate Education Accountability and Reform Committee of Reference will meet at 9 a.m. in HHR1. The subject of the meeting will be the school district performance audits of Tempe Union High School District as well as the unified school districts of Apache Junction, Ash Fork, Lake Havasu, and St. Johns.

The Auditor's report is here; TUHSD's response is here.

This one *could* have a minor impact on next year's elections.

The school board of TUHSD is headed up by Mary Lou Taylor, a candidate for the Republican nomination for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The co-chair of the committee of reference is Rep. Rich Crandall, someone who has been rumored to be interested in that position, too. If he really is interested in the job, he could see that the heat is turned up on TUHSD.

Given that TUHSD's response to the audit report was one of agreement, I expect this one to be fairly uneventful.

- The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will meet on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in SHR1.

- The House Commerce and Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee of Reference will meet on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in HHR5. They'll be doing sunset reviews of the office of the Auditor General (it's controlled directly by the lege leadership, so it is safe), the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (not so safe - who needs the DLLC and control, when there are now plenty of guns in bars to keep things under control? :) ), and the Sports and Tourism Authority (spends a lot of taxpayer money to help out corporate interests, so it is probably safe).

- The House Banking and Insurance and Senate Finance Committee of Reference will meet on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in HHR5. They'll be doing the sunset review of the State Board of Investment.

- The House Banking and Insurance and Senate Retirement and Rural Development Committee of Reference will meet at 1:30 p.m on Wednesday in HHR5 to consider the sunset review of the Department of Insurance.

- The House Transportation and Infrastructure and Senate Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Public Debt Committee of Reference will meet on Thursday at 2 p.m. in HHR4 to consider the sunset reviews of ADOT's Motor Vehicle Division and the Gila County Transportation Excise Tax (report here).

...The Arizona Corporation Commission will hold a securities meeting on Thursday (agenda here). Radical Bunny LLC is part of the ACC's regular hearing schedule (Tuesday, 11 a.m.). That one should be familiar to people who follow fraud cases in AZ.

...The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold two meetings this week. At Monday's "informal" meeting (agenda here) the highlight looks to be an item to consider and approve a settlement of legal actions between the County and former County School Superintendent Sandra Dowling.

The agenda for Wednesday's "formal" meeting includes an item to establish a photo enforcement fee for photo radar tickets adjudicated through the justice courts system. The justice courts are currently swamped under the load stemming from the increased use of photo enforcement, and need the revenue to hire pro tem judges specifically dedicated to hearing those cases.

...The Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District is holding a special meeting on Friday at 8:30 a.m. to formulate a plan for addressing the matters brought out in the recent complaint to the Higher Learning Commission.

...The Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Project will hold a meeting in Tucson on Thursday. The agenda includes consideration of legislative activities and a presentation on EPA rulemaking on emissions from the Navajo Generating Station.

...The Tempe City Council is holding a meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Agenda here; council calendar here.

...The Scottsdale City Council will be busy this week. In addition to the previously covered activities on Monday, they've got a regularly scheduled meeting on tap for Tuesday. The highlight of that agenda could be item 20, a reorganization of the City's Financial Services Division that would remove most of that area from the City Manager's purview (whoever that might be after Monday's special meeting on the employment status of John Little.) Also of interest is a proposal to increase the city's bed tax in order to provide more tourism development support.

The City's community meetings calendar is here.

Not scheduled to meet this week: Citizens Clean Elections Commission, the Board of Directors of the Maricopa Integrated Health System, and the Arizona Board of Regents.

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