Sine Die Watch

Could it be? Is it a Maundy Thursday Miracle? Or will it Passover to Good Friday?

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Arizona Senate president aims to end session Thursday night:

ArizonaArizona Senate President Andy Biggs said he wants to end the 2015 legislative session by Thursday — a target that would make it the shortest session in nearly 50 years.

Biggs said Wednesday he believes the Senate and House can finish their work on the remaining bills and adjourn by that time.

The resulting 81-day session would be the quickest since the 1968 Legislature adjourned in just 74 days, according to Arizona Capitol Times records.

Biggs says there aren’t that many pieces of legislation remaining to merit extending the session beyond Easter weekend.

“We are moving rapidly,” Biggs said. “Both sides are committed to wrapping it up as soon as possible.”

House Speaker David Gowan didn’t commit to an adjournment date, saying only “soon.”

The remaining bills include a series of election overhaul and school voucher measures along with Gov. Doug Ducey’s request for a new inspector general who would report directly to him and be tasked with investigating waste, fraud and abuse of public resources.

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The Legislature passed a $9.1 billion budget bill on March 7 and it was signed days later by Ducey. Biggs said it was time for lawmakers to go home.

“I think Mark Twain once said no one’s safe while the Legislature’s in session — I do think there are some meritorious aspects to that,” Biggs said. “We’ve done the people’s business, we’ve had a chance to vet the bills, let’s get done and get out of here.”

This is the “witching hour” when bad things happen late at night or in the wee hours of the morning when not even the media is there to watch what they are doing. You have to watch these guys like a hawk.

You know what to do.

April Fools Day from Fitz

AprilOne of the stupidest “holidays” ever is today — April Fools Day, April 1. I really don’t understand why this ridiculous “holiday” persists.

But I will play along with this April Fools Day prank from David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star, for all those haters who send hate mail to the “Red Star” (the Star hasn’t been a liberal newspaper since Lee Enterprises purchased the newspaper), and threats to Fitz. The haters must have been overjoyed with this announcement today: Fitz retiringPsych!

Fitzwire–Arizona Daily Star cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons, announced yesterday he will be retiring and leaving Arizona. “I’ll be 60 in August. It’s time I enjoyed my life. I want to enjoy my kids and travel a little. After more than 7, 500 cartoons without a break I’m fried. ”

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Take the Water Pledge in National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

 

waterpledgeTake the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation water pledge online sponsored by the Wyland Foundation, and enter to win  great prizes including a Toyota Prius V car. Tucson WON  in 2013 and many folks in town won several prizes.

Pledge online April 1 to April 30 at:

http://www.mywaterpledge.com/campaign/national-campaign-2015/

Tucson is in #2 place right now, in the city size of 300,000 to 599,999.  I remember last year we came in #2 under Corpus Christi, TX. Check City standings here: http://www.mywaterpledge.com/master-top-ten/. Tell your friends to pledge too.

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Were any GOP lawmakers on that bus from Phoenix?

I posted yesterday about the Arizona land grab bills and the anniversary of Bundy ranch.

Racist deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy and his band of Neo-Confederate secessionists rallied at the Nevada state capitol in Carson City for the federal land grab bill sponsored by Tea-Publicans in the Silver State, heard in committee today.

BundyThe AP report below from U.S. News & World Report says that “A bus from Phoenix and another from Las Vegas brought more than 100 people, according to Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy.” (AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal, Jason Bean).

Did that bus from Phoenix include any of the several GOP politicians in the “caravan” to the Bundy Ranch a year ago? This included Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), state Representatives Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff), David Livingston (R-Peoria), Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa), Senators Judy Burges (R-Sun City West), and Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), several county level elected officials, and of course, former Graham County Sheriff and “Patriot” (sic) leader Richard Mack.

Gosar Bundy Ward 14 April 2014Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and state Senator Kelli Ward (R- Lake Havasu City) with their good buddy Cliven Bundy.

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Arkansas: we can do Indiana one better!

Back in February I asked, Where is the national outrage over Arkansas’ SB 202?:

The national news media is not paying attention. And the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce is sitting on its hands saying nothing in response to a similar bill to SB 1062. Business Community Silent As Arkansas Bill To Allow LGBT Discrimination Set To Become Law:

On Friday, the Arkansas legislature sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) a bill that would eliminate all local non-discrimination protections for LGBT Arkansans — legislation the governor has vowed to let become law without his signature.

* * *

SB 202 would strip from local governments the power to protect LGBT citizens against employment, housing, public accommodations, as such protections go beyond existing state law. The text claims that this is to preserve “uniformity of law,” which it claims “benefits the businesses, organizations, and employers seeking to do business in the state and attracts new businesses, organizations, and employers to the state.”

Arkansas has now doubled-down on its bigotry, trying to one-up the state of Indiana (but will any national news media want to travel to Arkansas?) Arkansas Could Soon Become The Most Anti-LGBT State In The Nation:

Arkansas is a penstroke away from having a “license to discriminate” law nearly identical to Indiana’s. HB 1228, the Arkansas “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA), already passed both the House and the Senate, though it is awaiting a final consensus vote in the House before advancing to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) desk for his signature. Unlike the scramble now happening in Indiana, lawmakers do not plan to include any clarification or carve-outs for nondiscrimination protections and activists are already pressuring Hutchinson to veto.

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Indianapolis Star: Fix This Now!

The Indianapolis Star in a front page editorial today opines, Editorial: Gov. Pence, fix ‘religious freedom’ law now:

FixThisNowWe are at a critical moment in Indiana’s history.

And much is at stake.

Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers.

All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future.

The consequences will only get worse if our state leaders delay in fixing the deep mess created.

Half steps will not be enough. Half steps will not undo the damage.

Only bold action — action that sends an unmistakable message to the world that our state will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens — will be enough to reverse the damage.

Gov. Mike Pence and the General Assembly need to enact a state law to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

[Arizona also needs to enact such a state law.]

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