Sunday, April 15, 2012

The coming week...

As usual, all agendas and calendars subject to change without notice...

The legislature has reached the point in the session where the only real work left is the budget.  Most of that work is going on behind closed doors in negotiations between the governor and the leadership of the legislature (public input apparently not necessary or even welcome).

I've heard a prediction that the lege will try to wrap up this week, and while it was only a prediction, it's been echoed by the Center for Arizona Theocracy Policy in their weekly press release posted at Sonoran Alliance, and CATP is a lot better wired into the goings on at the Capitol than my source, who is only an elected official. 

However, so long as the lege is in session, their potential for mischief is unlimited.

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee as meeting on Monday (1 p.m., SHR1) to consider a couple of bills and some executive branch nominations.  The bills, HB2486 and HB2544, look to be relatively harmless (though HB2544 is a big business-supported "tort reform" bill that would make it easier for a court to award attorney fees in "baseless" lawsuits or similar court proceedings, and "big business-supported 'tort reform' " usually means that average people are getting screwed).  

The executive nominations are more fun. 

One of the nominees is Jesse J. Hernandez, nominated to a paid position on the Executive Clemency Board.

Hernandez is a staffer for Congressman David Schweikert, campaign co-chair for Bill Montgomery and a former candidate for the lege, but as far as I can see, there isn't a legal issue blocking  a Congressional staffer from accepting outside employment (note: I've got calls out to a couple of people who have more knowledge in this area than I do to check on this, but it being the weekend and they having these mysterious things called "lives", they haven't gotten back to me yet.  How rude. :) ).

However, he was the chair of Russell Pearce's campaign committee during last year's recall election.

When was the last time anybody heard of Pearce or his crowd being interested in "clemency" for anyone?

Also on the agenda:

The nomination of Brian McNeil to the Commission on Trial Court Appointments for Maricopa County.  McNeil is a former staffer for Governor Jan Brewer and shadow governor Chuck Coughlin (he's worked for both)

Other matters on the early schedule for the lege this week:

House Rules is meeting Monday at 1 p.m. in HHR4.  That agenda is short, with but one bill on it.  SB1433 is a measure that would allow a county sheriff to assume control of a municipality's police department under specified circumstances.  It's targeted at the police department in Colorado City/Hilldale, an area under the control of a cult that claims to be fundamentalist Mormons.

There is also a note on the agenda indicating that someone is asking for permission to introduce some sort of a resolution.  Don't know the "who" as yet, nor the nature of the resolution.

Monday's floor calendars include Senate COW (Committee Of the Whole) with a couple of TeaPublican "dog whistle" measures; House COW, with another couple of dog-whistle bills; House Third Read (final approval), including SB1365, granting immunity from adminstrative, civil, or criminal penalties to individuals and organizations that breach a contract or fail to provide a service if the individuals or organizations cite a religious reason for the breach; and House Final Read 1 and Final Read 2 (re-approval of measures that were amended by the Senate after House gave its final approval).

No conference committee schedules have been posted as yet.

The Arizona Capitol Times' Capitol Calendar is here; no events are listed on the lege's calendar of events for the week.

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