Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Legislative Crazy Train Is Up To Speed...

...And Is Ready To Derail Arizona's Future...

Less than a week ago, I wrote a post detailing some of the dumber/loonier bill proposals already proposed for the current session of the legislature. While many of the bill proposals are absolute ideological claptrap, a number of the bill proposals are efforts at cleaning up or clarifying already existing laws or are targeted at specific problems.

Turns out, the R caucuses were just getting warmed up, and they haven't even introduced the anti-children/14th Amendment bills yet.  Those are coming Thursday, according to the Arizona Capitol Times

Now that we are into the third week of the session, nearly all pretense of "good governance" is gone.

Bills added just in the last few days:

- HB2544, Rep. Judy Burges' latest "birther" bill

- HCR2030, Rep. Jack Harper's proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would loosen the ban on spending public money for religious purposes.  It would create an exception for school vouchers (this one has "Center for Arizona Theocracy Policy" written all over it)

- HCR2029, Rep. Chester Crandell's proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would create a "sunset" provision for all voter-approved spending initiatives (an attempt to reduce the voters' influence over the direction of the state and their ability to rein in the ideological excess of the legislature)

- SB1231, Sen. Lori Klein's proposal to limit government expenditures and tying future caps on the changes to the cost of living and the state's population.  Exempts from the limit payments on debt incurred by the end of the current fiscal year

- SCR1019, Sen. Scott Bundgaard's companion to the above bill.  This is a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution to reduce the state's expenditure limit.  Currently, the limit is 7% of "total personal income of the state" to 6.4%.  As of last February, (the date of the most recent analysis) Arizona's spending was at 5.95% of total personal income of the state.  This bill would then appear to be harmless, except that the percentage isn't just affected by state spending, it's affected by the economy as a whole.  Even if state spending doesn't change, a reduction in residents' ability to earn a living would result in a lower expenditure limit.  Possibly leading to a reduction in services just at the moment when more folks need to avail themselves of those services (i.e. - community college and university enrollments generally rise during down economic periods, yet the legislature is focused on decimating higher education in Arizona)

- SB1246, Sen. Nancy Barto's plan to do everything to inhibit a woman's right to choose her own medical care, including abortion services, that is allowable under the strictures of Roe v. Wade

- SCR1018, Sen. Steve Pierce's move to reduce property taxes paid in Arizona.  Currently, while there are limits on property tax levels, but there are a number of exceptions to those limits.  His measure is a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would eliminate most of those current exceptions to the limits

Something tells me that even the anti-14th Amendment bills coming later this week from Rep. John Kavanagh, Sen. Ron Gould won't be the end of the nuttiness.  I figure there will be material for at least two more posts in this informal series, and that's all before the silly season starts, "silly season" being when strike-everything amendments become the primary reason for existence for certain legislators (Jack Harper, anyone?).

1 comment:

Dick said...

There is no way to compete with the 2010 legislature. Last year, they passed HB 2251. That established Governor Brewers goofy 5C Arizona Centennial Museum. For details, see http://minmumad.blogspot.com/