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APAAC’s 2012 Legislative Session in Review

 

April 12, 2012

 

Good morning, All!

APAAC’s legislative news for the week of April 16-20 (see below):

In contrast to the fast pace of last week’s events, the 100-day mark has come and gone with no endgame in the works, taking on the ambiance of a snail race.  Several reasons for that:

1)    The Governor’s big red veto stamp was smoldering even as she leaned over the 9th floor balcony and defiantly wagged it toward the mall threatening that there is more where that came from if the rest of the gang doesn’t get with her budget program (then she promptly vetoed the “Gun Bill,” an empathetic move given her location inside a government building that already screens for them).

2)    They don’t have Daniel Patterson to punt around anymore.

3)    The basement dungeon was being cleared of Tobin’s personal cartographers to make way for the former GSA director whose resume reflects a real knack for partying it up big with little or no budgetary impact, thus providing a ray of hope for the emergence of some fine ideas facilitating Jan’s grand spending plan AND legislative tax cuts, all at the same time.
But the real reason things have slowed down is to buy time for the film tax credit to take effect, thus unleashing a cadre of documentarians who are anxious to descend on the campus just in time to capture the action, which can immediately be used for “campaign by YouTube”; saving them the trouble of actually appearing in their districts, which, with the price of gas, is tough to do now that clean elections funding has become taboo.

Out of sheer frustration with the Catch 22 that has become the fate of our “historical priors” bill 2461, not even this tweet was able to save it from death by a thousand paper cuts:

A certain Senator who is standing between me and my bill appeared in my dream last night. This can't go on; please, set my bill free: 2461.

You will recall that the bill was the victim of a procedural snafu; but, despite all best efforts, Sen. Gould was just so busy running for Congress he was unable to find time to simply unlock the Judiciary jaws of steel to allow it to proceed directly to Rules without passing ‘go’, thus dashing all hope this year as the Rules committee has reportedly gone the way of Elvis. (A shame, really; it is silly to expend this much effort on a straightforward correction of a wrongheaded court interpretation…but we always have 2013!)

Our favorite bail bond bill was sent up to 9 and a meeting ensued. I do expect it to cross the finish line, even though we repeatedly emphasized everywhere we went that there is simply no public safety reason to have it.

Digital stalking 2549 is being amended in a free conference committee. It was the subject of an Arizona Republic OpEd piece on Monday that was in no small part the work of our top notch extern.  Kathleen Mayer and Elizabeth Ortiz are each anxious for this to be done so they can scrub away the residue of their momentary roles as internet fascists (I guess if you hear something enough you begin to believe it).  

The synthetic drug world continues to be as bizarro in real life as it is in the legislature.  Rumor has it that 2388 will eventually get a House floor vote over the objections of we-all-know-who.  It is one thing to vote ‘no’ and an entirely different matter to deprive an entire body of the opportunity to vote.  Then again, this is a group that proposed sweeping the court’s automated systems funding (allegedly in retaliation for the IRC decision – a supposition that was clearly denied in today’s Capitol Times).  But after Jerry Landau waived smelling salts under their noses, they have awakened to a new day and, hopefully, that euphoria will last long enough to get 2388 to the House floor.  The sponsor, meanwhile, is counting votes and fielding tragic stories from desperate relatives of victims of legal “novelty powders.”  And parents are emphatically protesting a new smoke shop at 32nd Street and Shea in Phoenix on the basis of the marijuana paraphernalia, apparently oblivious to the scourge of the synthetics that will undoubtedly be the real draw for the clientele. That is happening, by the way, in District 11 where all the legislators are a ‘yes’ on 2388.

No doubt the “Zombie of the Year” award will go to the intersection definition bill which crashed and burned a second time on the House floor Thursday, only to be set for yet another reconsideration vote next week – not a good week for Senator Antenori in many ways.  2557 is now its moniker.

According to testimony in the Joint Border Security Committee on Tuesday, plans are in the works for implementation of the Special Missions Unit (aka Mission Impossible) despite a big delay getting the bill to the House floor and the purported Commander’s inability to get a meeting with the Governor.  He did utter the words AZPost in his testimony, but it remains a mystery just what “cross-border criminal activity” really consists of – but, what the heck, they will have all the rule-writing power they need because, you know, it is constitutional to delegate that kind of lawmaking.

In short, we are still at it for at least another week, which will have to include at least one marathon session that runs through the night – a tradition, much like this week’s legislator/lobbyist softball game,  that simply cannot be overlooked because it is so darn much fun.


Kim MacEachern
Staff Attorney
AZ Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council

 

Legislative weekly Report - April 20, 2012

 

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