The Arizona Legislature has been called into Special Session on Tuesday, May 27 by Governor Jan Brewer, who today signed a Proclamation.
Governor Brewer called the Special Session to pass her critical child safety reform proposal to fundamentally overhaul the state's child safety system.
Addressing the top priority highlighted in Governor Brewer's 2014 State of the State policy agenda, this reform proposal statutorily creates and funds the Department of Child Safety - a new, stand-alone agency whose sole focus is the safety of Arizona's children.
Actually, using the word "written" may be problematical - other than the first sentence, the story is the governor's press release.
And that first sentence was just reworded.
However, I digress... :)
The expectation, based on conversations with a couple of Capitol denizens, is that the outcome will be funding of a bare bones agency with few, if any, real changes. Mostly, the new agency will be the old agency with a new name but the same old culture and procedures.
Anything substantive will be left to the new governor and legislature in 2015 to craft and enact...or not.
The Arizona Attorney General's office is already on record as opposed to at least one provision in the legislation that will be considered during the special session. Apparently, part of the proposal would grant authority to the "new" agency to seek legal advice from sources independent of the AZAG's office.
From a letter sent to Charles Flanagan, director of the new agency, by Eric Bistrow, Chief Deputy -
A few days ago, this office received proposed legislation relating to the new agency that
you are to lead. Specifically, I reviewed proposed A.R.S. §8-454(G). You and I previously discussed the matter covered in the statute. The AGO strongly opposes the statute as written.
The AGO opposes this piece of legislation because it is harmful to the State and
undercuts the traditional role of the Attorney General to act as an independent legal advisor for all state agencies and departments. Though the AGO understands that some agencies employ administrative counsel, this proposed statute strikes at the authority of the AGO.
More updates as they become available...