Lawmakers urging classes on sex, money and the Bible
Sex, money, the Bible and the U.S. Constitution are some of the subjects lawmakers are proposing this session to be taught in Arizona classrooms.
Most of the bills come from Republicans inspired by personal experiences, and they manage to reconcile their proposed classroom mandates with the principles of small government and local control of curriculum.
Push for transparency focuses on campaign spending, gift giving
In the wake of two of Arizona’s biggest political shake-ups of last year, lawmakers are hoping a little sunshine will help clean up the mess.
Shadowy groups involved in the recall of then-Senate President Russell Pearce brought to light some of the flaws in the current financial disclosure requirements. Meanwhile, the Fiesta Bowl scandal brought to light ethical questions about what should be considered a gift from a lobbyist.
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.
Influential tax policy group seeks limit in growth of property values
An influential tax policy group will seek to put a measure on the ballot to limit growth in property values.
The Arizona Tax Research Association wants taxable property values to grow by no more than 5 percent each year.
Panel: Toss one-year wait for lawmakers to become Capitol lobbyists
A state House committee Tuesday narrowly endorsed scrapping a state law the prevents legislators from serving as paid lobbyists at the Capitol for a year after leaving office.
Its author, Rep. Jack W. Harper, R-Surprise, said the moratorium is intended to keep lawmakers from influencing legislation but fails to recognize that staff members are even better positioned to become lobbyists. He said it’s unfair to deny former lawmakers the same opportunities allowed for staff members.
Scandal prompts bill to increase access to companies’ financial disclosures
As part of the state’s response to the Fiesta Bowl scandal, the Secretary of State’s office is planning to make financial disclosure statements more accessible to the public.
Montgomery: Lawmakers ‘screwed up’ but no prosecutions
Bad legal advice and confusing and conflicting lobbying statutes allowed 16 current and former lawmakers who accepted football tickets and other gifts from the Fiesta Bowl to avoid criminal charges.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said today that after an eight-month probe he can’t prove whether any of the lawmakers “knowingly” failed to disclose trips they took at Fiesta Bowl expense and game tickets they received.
County attorney wants lobbying laws overhauled after Fiesta Bowl scandal
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who is wrapping up an eight-month investigation into the Fiesta Bowl scandal, will ask lawmakers to overhaul the state’s lobbying laws, saying financial reporting requirements are confusing and out of touch with what he believes the public demands of its elected officials.
“If it’s too much of a burden for an elected official to keep the public informed … they shouldn’t be in office,” the county’s top prosecutor told the Arizona Capitol Times. “If you don’t want to do this, then go do something else.”
Brewer’s visit ‘may have fueled a fire’ on disputed mining project
As the Florence Town Council contemplates whether to approve a controversial copper mine, the shadow of the Governor’s Office is looming over Town Hall.
Goldwater Institute ‘lobbies’ against registering more lobbyists
The Goldwater Institute is among the most powerful public-policy groups in Arizona.
The organization’s employees draft legislation, regularly meet with lawmakers and testify before committee hearings at the state Capitol. The group even advocated for the call of a 2010 special session in which lawmakers sought to give workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.
But the institute’s officials bristle at the suggestion that the organization has more than one lobbyist on its staff.
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