Thursday, August 05, 2010

Special Session on Monday

...In any beginning composition class in AZ (English 101 in the Maricopa County Community College District curriculum), this one would be a great topic for a "compare and contrast" essay...

Well, it's official - the Governor has called a special session of the Arizona Legislature (the ninth! of this particular session of the lege) to "fix" the anti-union ballot question that, earlier this week, was thrown off of November's ballot because it violated the "one topic only" rule for amendments to the AZ Constitution.

Legislators were notified by email earlier this evening to expect a session that will last 1 - 3 days - though the only ways it will last only one day are if the Democrats roll over for the Rs and agree to suspend the "three-day" rule or if the Rs fail to get a quorum for the session.  Neither circumstance seems likely at this point.

The Governor's call for the special session:
Governor Jan Brewer has issued a special session call to the Arizona Legislature for Monday, August 9, 2010, at 3:00pm. The special session will exclusively address a ballot referral measure amending the Arizona Constitution to protect secret balloting for Arizona employees. No other items are planned for the special session.

“The right to cast your vote without fear or intimidation is a fundamental tenant of our democracy,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “I believe that Arizona voters should be provided the opportunity to support and protect the constitutional right to a secret ballot for Arizona employees.”

The special session is expected to last 1-3 days.
Contrast this, a *special* session intended to attack the ability of working Americans to join unions with the U.S. Congress' equivalent - calling members back from their summer district work period to address Medicaid, education funding and other money to cash-strapped states (money that AZ's budgeters planned for when they put together the FY2011 budget).  The money will help keep teachers working and poor people receiving medical care .
The U.S. House is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. Aside from the bill to help the states, there will be a privileged/showboat motion from a Republican to block any "lame duck" sessions after the elections in November on the theory that the Ds will lose control of the House and he doesn't want them to be able to pass bills that the Republicans don't support.
The Rs probably don't expect that their motion will pass (as well they shouldn't!), but that probably isn't the purpose of the motion.
As a "privileged" motion, it takes precedence over pretty much everything else, and nothing else (including the funds that so many states need in order to open schools on schedule this fall) can be considered until the motion has been considered and disposed of (passed, defeated, or referred to committee).
They'll try to extend debate on that motion as long as possible in order to block the funding that so many states need in order to continue functioning.
Evidently, there isn't much of a contrast between Arizona Republicans and federal Republicans.
Both groups are more interested in screwing over working people and the poor than in doing their jobs.

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