Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Arizona Legislature: Striker time

...And not the good kind of "strike" either - let's face it, if the legislature went on strike, most people would just say "That's OK.  Bring plenty of water for your picket lines, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

Signs of the arrival of spring in Arizona...

...Baseball players, from smooth-chinned rookies to grizzled veterans, running wild on the basepaths of the various spring training facilities, getting ready for another baseball season...

...Students, from all over Arizona and the country, running wild on the street near Lake Havasu, enjoying another spring break and trying to stave off incipient adulthood...

...Strikers, from lobbyists and legislators alike, running wild on West Washington, desperately trying to push through one more proposal during this year's session of the lege...

Once a week, I write up a post that (mostly) covers committee activity scheduled for the coming week.  One of the standard caveats in that post is to check the agendas regularly because those agendas may change.

Turns out that this was a good week to follow that advice.

...Rep. John Kavanagh (R) proposed a strike-everything (striker) amendment to SB1432, nicknamed the "show your papers before you pee" bill (hat tip to Brahm Resnik for that turn of phrase).  It was held in the House Appropriations committee on Wednesday, but those who think their privates should remain private shouldn't breathe easier just yet.  This could come back at any time, for as long Cathi Herrod is getting her apoplexy on over Phoenix's anti-discrimination ordinance.

...Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R) has a striker scheduled to go before the House Judiciary committee on Thursday.  It would change SB1178 from a bad bill (some anti-worker changes to the state employee retirement system, relating to long-term disability) into an absolutely horrid bill, greatly broadening the legal shield from "state action" accorded to those who claim such action infringes on their exercise, practice, or observance of their religion.

...Farnsworth has another striker scheduled for consideration at Thursday's House Judiciary meeting.  It would turn SB1346 from something relating to drug analogues into something that makes significant changes to laws and procedures regarding class action lawsuits.  I freely admit that I am not a legal expert, but the proposal seems to raise hurdles for those who would be plaintiffs in class action actions.

...Sen. Gail Griffin (R - U noticing a pattern yet?) has a striker going before Senate Government and Environment on Thursday.  It proposes to expand the definition of "criminal trespass".

...Griffin has another striker scheduled for Thursday's Senate Government and Environment meeting.  This proposed change to HB2647 would revive a proposal to bar the compensation of public employees for union activities, even if such is called for by a legally negotiated and enacted contract.

...Griffin has yet another striker scheduled for Thursday's meeting.  This one seeks to impose ballot requirements on municipalities that hold tax or bond elections.

...Another Griffin striker that's scheduled for Thursday's meeting seeks to use politics to override science, imposing residential energy conservation standards set by the legislature on cities and towns.

Ahhhh...the Arizona Legislature, the place where dead proposals aren't dead until the legislature has adjourned sine die and the proposals are dead. 

And where many of the worst bills never face real scrutiny from the public or the lege itself because they are surreptitiously pushed through using the striker as a vehicle.

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