Sunday, May 2, 2010

Arizona Law ...not perfect, but getting close!

With all the controversy over the immgration legislation recently signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer no one has noticed some of the other aspects of the bill.   Among the many listed in the scorecard (see below) is one that should make all patriotic Americans happy: "Require Ten Commandments to be posted at the Capitol"  Now if we can only get Alabama to do likewise!  (Personally, I would have had every liberal politician memorize the Ten Commandments and have them recite them three times before each session of the legislature ...and that's not an LOL statement, somebody has to teach them right from wrong!) ~ Norman E. Hooben
Session gave green light to conservatives  (Some of this stuff is great! ~ Norm)
Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services | Posted: Sunday, May 2, 2010 
PHOENIX - The stars finally aligned for fiscal and political conservatives this year in the Legislature.

With a Democratic governor now history and a Republican head of state seeking to burnish her conservative credentials, GOP lawmakers pushed through a bevy of favorites on everything from abortion restrictions and illegal immigration to who gets to carry a gun.
And the state's fiscal mess finally gave them a chance to get rid of social programs they never wanted in the first place like KidsCare and full-day kindergarten.
And if it seemed like they were anxious to act, there's a good reason. There's a gubernatorial election in November - and no guarantee a Republican will be in charge next year.
Various measures aimed at illegal immigration, including the comprehensive one expanding police power, got the most national attention. But there were far more sweeping changes in the state's regulation of firearms.
Most notable is that, beginning July 29, virtually any adult can carry a concealed firearm. The need to get a state-issued permit, including the training and background-check requirements, goes away, though that remains an option for those who want one.
That makes Arizona just the third state in the union with such a law, after Alaska and Vermont.
During the six years Democrat Janet Napolitano was governor she vetoed every effort to loosen up gun laws. But when Jan Brewer became governor she made it clear her views were far different.
Just months after taking office, she spoke to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association meeting in Phoenix.
"Over the years, our Arizona frontiersmen always kept a gun under the seat of their wagon," she said. "And, you know, a saloon girl or two were even known to keep a derringer in their garter belt, just in case."
Lawmakers also voted - and Brewer signed bills - to overrule local gun regulations that were more restrictive than state laws. And they even voted to allow Arizonans to make and possess firearms made entirely within the state without complying with federal firearms laws.
Sen. Thayer Verschoor, R-Gilbert, a supporter of the changes, said the signs were all there to push ahead.
"When you've got the votes for something you want to get passed, that's the time to move it," he said.
While many Republicans are happy with the situation, the same can't be said of Democrats.
"There are no checks and balances in the system any more," said Sen. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix. "When one party controls the Legislature and controls the Governor's Office, the bills that have had a critical review in the legislative process, we've lost that."
Lawmakers also took a few whacks at regulations that had built up over time. They voted to curb the ability of counties to regulate certain kinds of dust pollution. And, in a specific reversal of a Napolitano-era regulation, barred state agencies from enacting any sort of limits on greenhouse gases unless lawmakers approved first.
"I think frustration did create a little bit of a different attitude and atmosphere," said Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix. "And, yeah, after six years of Napolitano I think people at that point were looking to correct a lot of the wrongs."
That includes the issue of abortion, where Napolitano had vetoed virtually every restriction that reached her desk.
This year, lawmakers approved and Brewer signed new reporting requirements. And they spelled out in law that cities can't offer taxpayer-subsidized health insurance to workers that includes coverage for abortions.
There were other "morality" bills, including one that even spelled out that it's not legal in Arizona to create human-animal hybrids, a provision that led to jokes about mermaids and minotaurs.
"This is the first time we've had both clear, conservative majorities in the House and Senate and a governor who was a conservative, for the most part," said Sen. John Huppenthal, R-Chandler.
That "for the most part" comment reflected some GOP frustration with Brewer for pushing a sales tax increase while opposing business tax cuts. Sen. Carolyn Allen, R-Scottsdale, said that may have forced Brewer to prove in other areas she remains a conservative, what with the governor taking slaps from three primary foes who question her credentials.
"This was an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot," Allen said of the push of items on the conservative agenda.
"Let's do it now because we've got a governor who's running," she explained of the attitude among Republicans. "And she's going to have to go along with us."
Politics was just one reason for the window to change the political direction of the state. The recession created the other, with the state's revenues failing to keep pace with spending.
"They've been waiting for years to get rid of KidsCare," Allen said. The program, which provides nearly free health insurance to the children of working poor, was started under Jane Hull, a Republican governor, who noted the federal government picks up 75 percent of the cost. But many Republicans didn't like it then and used the deficit as an excuse to vote to eliminate it.
They had to reverse that decision, though, because of a provision in new federal health-care legislation that would have cut off U.S. funding to the state.
But there was no such federal impediment to scrapping state-funded full-day kindergarten, a program Napolitano pushed through in 2006.
House Minority Whip Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said it was just "time for a little common sense."
What's next
Arizona voters will have a chance to make a crucial decision later this month that will affect state government:
May 18 is the statewide vote on Proposition 100, the temporary, 1-cent sales-tax increase that would raise about $1 billion in its first year to help offset cuts to education and public safety.

Here's some of what made it through Arizona's legislative process - and some of what did not.
Public safety/passed:
• Allow virtually any adult to carry a concealed firearm.
• Overturn local gun regulations that are stricter than state laws.
• Bar cities from maintaining records about storage or transfer of firearms.
• Give police more power to question people about their immigration status.
• Create constitutional right to hunt.
• Allow motorcyclists to ride between lanes, but only in Maricopa County and only during a one-year study.
Public safety/failed:
• Ban driving while texting.
• Preclude minors from riding in back of open pickup trucks.
• Allow college faculty to carry firearms.
• Ban license plate covers to hide letters and numbers from photo radar cameras.
• Require booster seats for young children riding in vehicles.
• Restrict public funds to pay for health insurance that includes abortion coverage.
• Eliminate, then restore funding for Kids Care program.
• Conditionally reinstate eligibility standards for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
• Block state agencies from regulating ""greenhouse gases."
• Impose new abortion reporting requirements.
• Require certain information to be provided to women before they donate eggs for fertility clinics or research.
• Limit human embryonic-stem-cell research and prohibit human-animal hybrids.
• Take control of certain dust regulations from counties.
• Ban adults from smoking in vehicles when children are present.
• Impose new reading requirements to move on to fourth grade.
• Create an alternate path for high schoolers to graduate early.
• Ban certain "ethnic studies" programs that "promote resentment toward a race."
• Continue tax credits for scholarships to help students attend private and parochial schools.
• Extend deadline for making donations to qualify for those tax credits.
• Eliminate state funding for full-day kindergarten.
• Require all schools to provide medically accurate sex education.
• Force schools to determine number of youngsters enrolled who are not legal U.S. residents.
• Put measure on ballot to create post of lieutenant governor.
• Permit Arizonans to make voluntary donations to run state government.
• Limit ability of cities to impose zoning restrictions against churches.
• Let Parks Board contract with public or private entities to operate state parks.
• Ask voters to repeal public funding of elections.
• Require voter-approved funding measures to be reapproved every eight years.
• Let lawmakers take money from voter-mandated programs in economic emergencies.
• Require presidential candidates to provide birth certificates.
• Permit continued payday lending beyond June 30.
• Seek 4-year terms for lawmakers.
• Eliminate term limits.
• Tie legislative pay cuts to state employee pay cuts.
• Allow lawmakers to become lobbyists immediately after leaving state government.
• Permit manufacture of incandescent bulbs in Arizona despite federal ban.
• Let Arizonans have firearms made in the state without complying with federal firearms laws.
• Extend sales and income tax credits for installation of solar energy devices by commercial and industrial users.
• Impose new regulations on reverse mortgages.
• Let landlords pay higher referral fees to tenants.
• Allow Sunday morning sale of alcoholic beverages.
• Impose surcharge on unemployment insurance.
• Cut corporate income taxes.
• Eliminate state property tax.
• Reduce basis for assessing business property for tax purposes.
• Require Ten Commandments to be posted at the Capitol.
• Provide for exchanging state trust lands for other property to help preserve military reservations.
• Impose longer waiting period before a divorce can be granted.
• Block move by Tohono O'odham Nation to locate casino near Glendale.
• Tax medical marijuana if ballot measure is approved.

1 comment:

Montana said...

I saw Jay Leno at Correspondent Dinner his best line was; “That was my favorite story (this year) Republicans and a Lesbian bondage club. It’s ironic, Republicans don’t want lesbian getting married but they do like watching them “tie the knot”. So I thought that was interesting.”

You can say the same about Tea Party, they say they respect the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence but they do not mind passing laws, through weak Governors who only care about getting reelected on the backs of undocumented workers, that will not pass Constitution muster, just like Arizona’s House Bill 2779 from two years ago, keep passing them Arizona and the rest of us will continue to challenged them and you will fail in a court of law (and yes we will boycott you). Their phony patriotism is sickening, they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Let’s face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions). The Birthers and the Tea party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it’s about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called “facts”. Let’s face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that’s like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that.