Ethics Committee: Expel Patterson
After two hours of back-and-forth discussion, the House Ethics Committee today voted to recommend Rep. Daniel Patterson’s expulsion from the House of Representatives, and one committee member said to expect a full House vote on the recommendation later this afternoon.
Fiesta Bowl scandal spurs gift ban proposals
The Fiesta Bowl scandal has prompted two state lawmakers to plan legislation that would include an outright ban on gifts to legislators.
Judge to Bundgaard: Court can’t intervene; ethics trial will move forward
Sen. Scott Bundgaard’s final effort to halt the investigation into whether he breached ethical rules has failed.
A judge today ruled the issue is a political question that the court doesn’t have the authority to wade into, denying Bundgaard’s plea to stop the Senate Ethics Committee from holding a full-blown investigation scheduled for Thursday.
Self preservation: Lawmakers lament recall process, want to make it more difficult
Still shaken from the successful recall of Senate President Russell Pearce, some lawmakers are seeking to make it more difficult for voters to oust politicians from office.
One Pearce ally plans to sponsor legislation that would require recall organizers to obtain signatures from a majority of registered voters in a district — an unprecedented proposal that would far exceed signature requirements in all other states that allow recalls.
Small business’ top 10 legislative victories in 2011
The 50th Arizona Legislature has boldly staked its claim to being the most pro-small business Legislature in Arizona’s history. On issue after issue, legislators advanced measures to relieve the tax and regulatory burdens on the engines of our economic recovery, Arizona’s small businesses. Even in instances where lawmakers mistakenly pursued bad policy, they did so with the right motive in mind – creating more jobs.
Here are 2011’s top ten legislative victories for the small business.
GOP reduced deficit, passed protection measures in 100-day session
Two weeks ago the Republican Legislature wrapped up its business in only 100 days, a feat that was last accomplished over a decade ago and heralded by the media as if it was the main story line of this session.
In an extremely busy year, Senate passes more bills than House
When Senate leaders boast that this is the most fruitful session in years, they have the hard evidence to back up their claim.
Despite being half the size of the House of Representatives, the Senate approved 117 more pieces of legislation than the House sent to them.
Lawmakers’ voting participation remains high in shorter session
Records from the past three legislative sessions point to a simple truism of the citizen-legislature model: The shorter the session, the better the attendance.
By keeping a 100-day session — the length prescribed by legislative rules — 27 of the Legislature’s 90 members voted on every bill that was brought to the floor, and only one lawmaker missed more than 20 percent of floor votes.
Few see increase in civility following Giffords’ shooting
The January shooting in Tucson, which occurred just two days before the 2011 legislative session began, inspired soul searching among rattled and emotional lawmakers, who pledged a new era of civility across the partisan divide. Others vowed drastic changes to Arizona’s laws on guns and mental health in response to a mass shooting carried out by a man with documented-but-untreated mental health problems.
But while some lawmakers say the lessons of Jan. 8 stayed with them through sine die, most have seen few changes.
Measures on Clean Elections, merit selection, victims rights headed to ballot
The effort to put a Clean Elections repeal on the ballot overshadowed two other legislative referendums this year, and it promises to be the most contentiously fought of the measures in the upcoming 2012 election.
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