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Senators accelerate work on non-budget bills

From modifying rules that govern mixed martial arts to asserting the state’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, senators hunkered down on March 18 to deliberate more than three-dozen measures.

The day of heavy lifting came on the heels of the Legislature successfully concluding work on the fiscal 2010 and 2011 budgets, which has been lawmakers’ most challenging task this year.

The next stop for the non-budget measures is a full vote by the Senate, which is expected to take place next week.

Senators are trying to finish work their bills so they can send them to the House. Both chambers already have begun hearing the other body’s bills.

Here are some of the measures that the Senate deliberated during the Committee of the Whole today:

*S1076, introduced by former senator Jonathan Paton of Tucson, changes the name of the Arizona State Boxing Commission to the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission. It also modifies rules governing mixed martial arts.

*SCR1050, introduced Sen. Sylvia Allen of Snowflake, declares that Arizona, through its Legislature, has the sole authority to regulate greenhouse gasses and other emissions. The measure is referred to as the “Freedom to Breathe Act.”

*S1104, introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa, says if the Legislature were to enact a budget that exceeds the previous year’s spending level as adjusted for population and inflation, lawmakers must pass a separate concurrent resolution acknowledging that the budget went over the limit and expressing their intent to authorize such a spending level.

*S1304, sponsored by Glendale Republican Sen. Linda Gray, would require hospitals or clinics that perform abortions to collect data on patients and then send the information to the Department of Health Services. The information required includes the patient’s age, race, ethnicity, marital status, educational background and the reason for the abortion.

*S1443, introduced by Glendale Republican Sen. Linda Gray, would tweak the statewide photo enforcement system by prohibiting, among other provisions, cameras from being placed within 600 feet of a sign reflecting a change in the posted speed limit, except in a school crossing zone.

*S1309, introduced by Mesa Republican Chuck Gray, would establish fundamental parental rights to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children.

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