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Teeing up the topic of state government

For their annual meeting, Arizona Town Hall officials asked me to answer the question “Is state government responsive to Arizona’s needs?” Considering my position as the leader of a non-partisan news organization, I thought it better to offer five topics that should be discussed at one of their two three-and-a-half day town halls that are planned for the coming year.

The topics were:

• Clean Elections
• Terms vs. term limits
• Legislators’ salaries
• Ballot propositions
• Should Arizona have a lieutenant governor?

Two other speakers also offered potential Town Hall topics on Arts and Culture and Higher Education. Both spoke of significant challenges in their sectors due to the economy and cutbacks in funding.

Shirley Agnos, the former president of Arizona Town Hall, held up a copy of a California newspaper editorial that had raised similar points. The editorial suggested it might be time for a constitutional convention in California.

Could it be time for Arizona to have a constitutional convention as well? Are structural problems at the root of our state’s fiscal dysfunction?

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