A slow news week in Arizona…
but some stuff worth highlighting anyway.
First of all, let’s remember that even the New York Times featured stories about Arizona cutting state health care funds for the poor so that poor people couldn’t get transplants. Well, apparently that’s been fixed.
Who says the state doesn’t have the money to fund transplants?
Someone has dug up some dollars to transplant dozens of rosebushes in preparation for Gov. Jan Brewer’s inauguration.
The shrubs, which normally grace the courtyard between the House and Senate buildings, have been transplanted to a temporary nursery so platforms can be built to accommodate the Jan. 3 event.
They’ll be returned to their spots in the courtyard after the inauguration. Apparently, rosebush transplants are not optional services when it comes to Capitol festivities.
OK. Well sorta.
Now then, on to the serious stuff. Like the start of the Legislative New Year. We discussed this last week but there is some interesting information in this article that bears highlighting. First of all, as noted above Governor Brewer’s inauguration will be held on January 3. The interesting things follow (quoted from the linked article)…
- The 50th begins at noon on Jan. 10 in the House chambers…
- [Governor] Brewer will release her budget recommendations on Jan. 14.
- Jan. 31 is the last day for Senate bills to be introduced without special permission.
- Feb. 7 is the last day for House bills to be introduced without special permission.
- March 12 is the last day for Senate committees to hear Senate bills and House committees to hear House bills. Appropriations committees get an extra week. All bills that do not receive hearings by this point are dead. [Bills that are heard by the deadline and passed by the House or Senate must be heard in the other chamber by April 9 or they are dead.]
- April 19 is the 100th day of session. The Legislature typically tries to end its session by the 100th day.
Remember, Arizona faces a $2.25B budget hole that must be addressed and both the Governor and the Legislature have said “No Tax Increases”. The Legislature has until March 26 to put together a budget. Compare that exercise to the US Congress which still hasn’t passed a budget for the current fiscal year and probably won’t have one passed by the time Arizona’s budget is signed. Brewer will submit her budget on January 14, the House has 64 days to debate and pass the budget. I understand that the US budget is more complicated than Arizona’s, so what say to a constitutional amendment that gives Congress 90 days to pass a budget or shut down operations of the government – with the exception of the US Military and US Border Patrol (note: NOT TSA) for the full duration of the budget period (two years).
The really nifty thing is that the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 19th, 100 days into the session. A 100 day legislative session. How about a 180 day legislative session for the US Congress? Think of the messes that would never happen if Congress was in session for 180 days every two years. Makes my heart pound.
And the icing on the Legislative Cake happens next week…
Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, and lawmakers from several other states are planning to gather in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 to reveal the details of legislation that proposes to change how children born to illegal immigrants are recognized by individual states. More than a dozen states are expected to propose the same bill this year.
If you think SB1070 created a firestorm, just wait about six months. A bunch of states passing legislation to limit “birthright citizenship”. The DoJ will busy as one armed paperhangers between the continuing saga of SB1070 and the probability that similar legislation will be introduced in several more states, Representative Darryl Issa holding hearings on only God knows what and birthright citizenship. It’s gonna be a really, really fun year.
Oh, and the picture is not a mistake.
- Transplants Cut, Arizona Is Challenged by Survivors (nytimes.com)
- Only Rich People Can Get Organ Transplants Now in Arizona [Sad] (gawker.com)