Monday, May 03, 2010

D17 Legislators guide important bills through to the Governor's desk

After one of the most contentious legislative sessions on record, the Democratic contingent to West Washington can look upon their accomplishments this year with a little pride.

State Senator Meg Burton Cahill and State Representatives David Schapira and Ed Ableser each had bills reach the Governor's desk, awaiting her signature.

They include -

SB1232 (Burton Cahill), conforming Arizona's civil rights laws with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act

HB2462 (Ableser), reining in predatory towing companies

HB2080 (Schapira), "Helps students with chronic health problems by expanding parents’ choices of health professionals to certify their children need special accommodations to complete their coursework." (Quoting from a press release)

HB2401 (Schapira), expanding the teacher student loan forgiveness program (originally to encourage/aid future math, science, and special ed teachers) to include students who are elementary ed teachers in areas that have been determined to have a shortage of teachers.

Thanks for their hard work and congratulations on their successes go out to all three members of LD17's delegation.

From the "you can't make this stuff up" department - Burton Cahill's bill, SB1232, was pretty innocuous, almost a "technical corrections" bill, yet when it was passed by the Senate, it was opposed by John Huppenthal, a Republican candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Somewhat surprising for someone who wants to be in charge of educating Arizona's children - most people either have a disabled child in their family or know someone who does. His vote can only serve to tick off a significant part of the education community, a community whose support he is seeking in his attempt to change offices.

According to one source, it turns out that Huppenthal wasn't opposed to the content of the measure. According to that source, Huppenthal told an advocate for the disabled community that he voted against the bill because he personally disliked the Senator who sponsored the bill, Meg Burton Cahill.

That's pretty petty, even by the abysmally low standards of the GOP caucus in the lege.

Of course, this is the same John Huppenthal who stole signs opposing his candidacy and pushed around an elderly Democratic activist in 2008 (he faced charges, but was a Republican judge).

Being merely "petty" may qualify as a good day for Huppenthal...


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