The latest controversy surrounding the ill-advised passage of HB 1062 shows how out-of-touch with reality the Republican-led Arizona Legislature has become.
After passing the bill, which some dubbed as a free ticket to discriminate against gays and lesbians, a firestorm of controversy came down on the state, putting Arizona in the national spotlight for less-than flattering reasons.
Arizona deserves better than the self-serving lawmakers we currently have proposing laws and dishing up the never-ending load of nonsense that happens session after session.
While the governor acted correctly in vetoing the bill, I am sure there will be plenty of others she will stick with her Republican party and sign into law. Some of which are either pointless.
Take Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista, bill to allow entities to charge for public records requests. Stevens thinks this is a fix to a major problem where in some cases our rights to public records is taken advantage of, causing too much work and time on those compiling the records requests.
While I would agree some do take advantage of the right, causing town clerks and their staff to work hours upon hours to compile records, only to have that person either take a photograph of them, or outright refuse to pick them up, is wrong. However, I do not agree that a new law on the books fixes the problem. Frankly, it punishes the many who do not misuse the right, and does not fix the problem.
Stevens is another example of creating knee-jerk bills that aren’t thought out. Then, they seem surprised when organizations such as the Arizona Newspapers Association come out against the bill.
While the bill travels through the process, I can only hope that others see that Stevens’ bill is not a solution to a problem, it’s only creating a new one.
Then, we have the bill to get rid of Common Core standards – SB 1310 will help the legislature gain even more control over how our children are educated. I have spoken to some teachers who stand by Common Core – they say it encourages are students to think, be constructive and not just memorize information to pass a pointless standardized test.
Sen. Al Melvin expressed concern that some of the language in Common Core may have pornographic language, and he was also a little upset about “fuzzy math” where in some cases numbers are substituted with letters.
This is another example of an ill-advised law, especially if Melvin’s reasoning applies.
Then, we have House Bill 2547, which will allow the state to give $2 million in funding to cities hosting major events. By major events, it means the Super Bowl, and primarily is being passed for the City of Glendale, which at this time cannot afford to host the NFL’s biggest event.
Then, we have House Bill 2284, which would allow warrantless inspections of abortion clinics. It is these bills that drive me crazy. The Republican-led legislature is finding any possible way to put up roadblocks in areas where their beliefs are not applied. This law will probably be challenged in court and struck down. Do taxpayers a favor, save us the money in legal fees and don’t pass the bill.
Finally, we have Senate Bill 1157, which would prohibit all towns from being allowed to prohibit residents from raising chickens in their backyard. Really? Is this a problem Arizona is having?
With so many of our Republican lawmakers promising that jobs and the economy is their top priority – I ask, where are those bills?
Just one more point, I do not believe a Democrat-led legislature would be any better. All of these are strong points of why we need a lot more balance in every aspect of our government.