Monday, March 23, 2015

AZLege and priorities: A Tale of Two Bills

You'd think that people elected by the public to serve in office would act as public servants.

You'd think that...but you'd think wrong.

First up:

SB1273, giving Arizonans the option of requesting a drivers license that is REAL ID-compliant.

Beginning next year, Arizona's drivers licenses will not be adequate proof of identity for things like flying or entering federal buildings.  In fact, that has already started causing problems.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl -
Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego said she was turned away from the Federal Emergency Management Agency last year, and again earlier this year, when she traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet about relief from the floods her south Phoenix district suffered last year.

The federal government began phasing in the requirement for a secure identification early last year, with airport restrictions scheduled to start no sooner than Jan. 19, 2016.

Gallego said she had to move her FEMA meeting to an off-site location.

Then there is HB2415.  Last week is was amended from being a bill about sanitary districts and contracts to one regarding campaign finance that:

- Raises campaign contribution limits 25%

- Reverts to the requirement that candidates form a committee for each election cycle and ending the current requirement that candidates have separate committees for each of the primary election and the general election.

- Changes the current prohibition on legislators and the governor on accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists during the legislative session to allowing them to accept contributions during the first three days of the legislative session, if a contribution is mailed to the recipient and is postmarked before the start of the session.

SB1273 is a "good government" bill, one that benefits any Arizonan who travels or interacts with the federal government.

HB2415 benefits only elected officials, particularly legislators and the governor.

So, naturally, 1273 is DOA (for lack of committee consideration) while 2415 is moving merrily along.

One question:

Are people who are elected to be public servants still considered to be that when their primary focus is on serving their own interests?

No comments: