Friday, November 12, 2010

New committees and chairs announced for the AZ legislature

...and there is going to be a LOT of subject material for wiseass bloggers coming out of 1700 West Washington in 2011...

Info courtesy AP via the Arizona Daily Star.

Agriculture and Water, Russ Jones

Appropriations, John Kavanagh

Banking and Insurance, Nancy McLain

Commerce, Jim Weiers

Employment and Regulatory Affairs, Bob Robson

Education, Doris Goodale

Energy and Natural Resources, Frank Pratt

Environment, Amanda Reeve

Government, Judy Burges

Health and Human Services, Cecil Ash

Higher education, Innovation and Reform, Steve Court

Judiciary, Eddie Farnsworth

Military Affairs and Public Safety, David Gowan

Rules, Jerry Weiers

Technology and Infrastructure, David Stevens

Transportation, Vic Williams

Ways and Means, Jack Harper

Nothing too shocking in the House here; a couple of new committees to make room for legislative returnees Farnsworth (yes, he got Judiciary, which already exists, but Court got one of the new ones to make room for Farnsworth on an "old" committee) and Robson.  Otherwise, every committee chair went to someone who was a legislator in 2010.


Appropriations, Andy Biggs

Water and Rural Development, Gail Griffin

Border Security, Federalism and States' Sovereignty, Sylvia Allen

Economic Development and Jobs Creation, Michele Reagan

Commerce and Energy, Al Melvin

Education, Rich Crandall

Finance, Steve Yarbrough

Government Reform, Frank Antenori

Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform, Nancy Barto

Judiciary, Ron Gould

Natural Resources and Transportation, John Nelson

Public Safety and Human Services, Linda Gray

Veterans and Military Affairs, Adam Driggs

Banking and Insurance, John McComish

Rules, Russell Pearce

Oooooh.  The Senate is going to be fun this year!

Perhaps the toughest assignment goes to Michele Reagan - "Economic Development and Job Creation"??

She may be the Senate member on the steepest upward trajectory politically, and this assignment could put her over the top for whatever office she wants after her stint in the Senate, if she succeeds.

On the other hand, if this assignment is Pearce's way of setting up a patsy in case the Rs experience an epic failure to produce an economic recovery in Arizona (not exactly out of the realm of possibility), a failure in this assignment could stall or stop her political ascension and open an opportunity for fellow LD8'er (and Pearce friend and acolyte) Rep. John Kavanagh.

Of course, the balancer to that is the Sylvia Allen assignment, "Border Security, Federalism and States' Sovereignty."  Like Kavanagh, Allen is a friend and acolyte of Pearce; unlike Kavanagh, she isn't burdened by a surfeit of intelligence.

In other words, this assignment is perfect for her.

Expect most of Pearce's anti-immigrant bills to be funnelled through this committee (they'll be his, even if he has another senator put his/her name on the measures.)

Bring your own popcorn; Kool-Aid IVs will be provided...

Steve Yarbrough's assignment to the Finance committee is also supremely interesting, in an "indictment waiting to happen" sort of way.

Senate Finance is roughly analogous to the House's Ways and Means Committee and is responsible for taxes and tax credits and the like.

When Yarbrough was in the House, he pushed through and protected Arizona's infamous school tuition tax credit law, a law that takes money out of public schools and transfers it to private schools.

And funnels it through an organization that Yarbrough controls where he takes a hefty cut of the money for himself.

For the last couple of years, most of my legislative coverage has focused on the Senate because that is where the conflict was - a couple of the members thought the devastating cuts of the last two budgets weren't harsh enough and would vote against any budget that left the state operational.

It looks as if the next couple of years will be spent with the same focus - this time because the clown cars have surrounded the Capitol, and the clowns have made the Senate building their headquarters.

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