On the agenda: legal advice (much of which is likely to take place in executive session) regarding the various lawsuits still pending as well as the possibility of suing the legislature to provide funding necessary to pay bills, if the legislature is reluctant to provide the needed funding), executive director's report on budget related issues (including the need for an additional supplemental appropriation... to pay legal bills) and on recent staff activities. There will also be a call for public comment.
As to budget issues, the Associated Press reported yesterday that:
The Legislature approved an emergency $500,000 appropriation in January. The commission is now asking for between $635,000 and $720,000 to pay legal and other bills through June 30.
A House committee gave permission Monday for the late introduction of another supplemental appropriations bill.
House Speaker Andy Tobin says the bill will call for just over $635,000 is extra funding.Today, Tobin introduced HB 2665 which calls for $635,226 in additional funding for the current fiscal year AND provides that the AIRC will be allowed to pay current year bills with money appropriated for fiscal year 2013-2014. Beside the fact that HB 2665 has not been debated or voted on yet, no fiscal year 2013-2014 funding has yet been authorized.
On Earth Day (yesterday), I heard from a fly that had been on a wall overhearing a conversation with David Cantelme. This fly tells me the GOP plaintiffs' counsel figures the three-judge panel will likely hand down its ruling in the Harris case by the end of May. The federal court previously had shown keen sensitivity to the tight time frames necessary to not throw the 2014 legislative election into chaos, so it makes sense they would want to get the ruling out as soon as possible.
This fly on the wall also suggested Cantelme does not expect the Congressional district lines to change at all based on Leach v AIRC (still pending in Maricopa County Superior Court).
The fly said that Cantelme is optimistic about his chances in Harris and figured the outcome will depend on how Judge Clifton sees it, since he thinks Wake is on his side and Silver is not. One last thing, and this is likely to be among the questions discussed in executive session on Thursday, is that if Cantelme prevails, he believes there will be an appeal to the US Supreme Court.
Local redistricting expert Tony Sissons of Research Advisory Services authored a guest editorial posted today by the Arizona Capitol Times (not behind a paywall). Sissons set forth a methodology for crowdsourcing a new legislative district map in the event the federal court invalidates the current lines.