Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arizona Legislature: No respect for voters, no respect for the law

Just things that they've done recently or are planning to do in the next week...

- The Senate approved SB1324, mandating that the state's Department of Administration procure and make available to state employees pre-paid identity theft protection services. The only non-legislator who signed in as supporting the measure was the lobbyist for Lifelock, a firm that claims to provide such services.

The same Lifelock that is paying $12 million to settle some false advertising claims, as announced this week by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

On one side of the Capitol, one conscientious public servant was working to protect Arizonans; on the other side, not so much.

To be fair, the bill sounded innocuous enough to garner a few Democratic votes on the Senate floor, but it's time that the Ds at the Capitol understand that there is nothing innocuous in the measures proposed by their R colleagues.

- This coming Tuesday, Senate Appropriations will be considering a striker to HB2370. The striker would apparently reauthorize the existence of the payday loan industry. I say "apparently" because the lege is keeping the text of the striker under wraps so far.

Less than a year-and-a-half ago, the voters rejected (by over 400,000 votes) an industry-sponsored initiative to do just that, and since then, the industry and their minions in the lege have been working to thwart the will of the voters.

I'm not the only one who has noticed the Rs' attempt at stealth here and is publicizing it - Tucson City Councilman Fimbres has a piece on it in his blog, here.

- Then, of course, is the lege's scheme to "balance" the state's budget by rolling back voter-mandated early childhood education and health care and AHCCCS eligibility levels.

The lege has been told *many* times that Arizonans support a basic social safety net, yet Republican legislators never stop working to destroy anything that even resemble public services.

Maybe this year, instead of sending the "same old, same old" to the Capitol, where most of them will only ignore the best interests of Arizonans, the will of the voters, and even the law, Arizona's voters will finally elect legislators based on dedication to public service, not obeisance to ideology.

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