Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let the games begin -- Sen. Carlyle Begay files 8 bills for 2014 session

Brand new state Senator Carlyle Begay filed the first eight bills for the 2014 legislative session.

The Fifty-first Legislature, Second Regular Session will begin on Monday, January 13, 2014. Sen. Begay has already filed eight "technical correction" bills. These bills are introduced with only minor technical changes to statutes but are really intended to become "striker buses."

For example, SB1004 has only the following language in it.
42-1008.  Employee preparation of tax returns for compensation prohibitedAn employee of the department of revenue shall not for compensation prepare or assist in preparing any tax return required to be filed with the federal, THE state or a local government.  A violation of this section shall be grounds for immediate discharge DISMISSAL
The words in ALL CAPS are to be added to Arizona Revised Statutes § 42-1008. The word "discharge" is to be stricken from the statute. The change in meaning to the statutes as a result of this bill is completely NOTHING.

So, why have a bill like this? After a certain deadline, no new bills may be introduced. But lawmakers still will want to make changes to bills. So bills like SB1004 may be amended with a "strike everything after the enacting clause (Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona) and insert whatever language the wheelers and dealers decide they want to try to get enough votes to enact.

In the 2013 regular session, on March 27th, House Appropriations chair John Kavanagh proposed a strike all amendment to SB1045. Kavanagh decided to change a bill the senate had passed making it "unprofessional conduct" for licensed health professionals to claim they are board certified specialists if they are not so certified. Instead, SB1045 became the vehicle on which Kavanagh foisted his "bathroom bill." The bill was held in the House and did not become law. But some strikers do become law.

It's a longstanding game. How Carlyle Begay obtained his initial lessons in writing legislation is an interesting question that may not be easily answered. The answer may or may not provide anything of interest. But it's still something to note as the freshman senator begins his representation of LD7 in northeastern Arizona.




8 comments:

  1. Democrats rarely get their actual bills heard. Do you really think their "vehicle bills" will even get out of their garages?

    State Rep. John Kavanagh (with a reality check)

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    1. Irrelevant. Once they're introduced, they can be assigned, amended, and reported out. You have them to use - whether or not you will use them is another matter. History would seem to indicate that you, sir, will.

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  2. You raise points that suggest numerous questions. Would you care to expound on why Democrats rarely get their bills heard? It's still an open question as to whether Begay is even genuinely a Democrat. There's also the question of who is mentoring him. If, as speculation had it last summer, Begay is closely working with Biggs, that raises other questions. I certainly do not have the answers, but one can't learn much without asking the questions first. There are plenty more questions to be asked than I specified here.

    I appreciate that you chimed in with a "reality check." That implies that you made some inferences about what you think I implied with this post. That, in itself, is intriguing. Not that you necessarily inferred correctly.

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    1. Dem bills rarely get heard for two reasons. First and foremost, they tend to be ideologically liberal so the conservative dominated chambers do not want to advance them. Given that they would never get the votes to pass, hearing them would only waste time and give liberals a platform to advocate liberal positions. However, the time issue is more important than the platform one. Rs cannot get all the bills they want through in the limited time we are in session.

      Second, some Dems (a small number) have "burned bridges" with Rs by repeated harsh attacks. Consequently, nobody is going to help them.

      I should note that some Dem bills are heard.

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    2. To recap, Republicans who control both chambers don't want to "waste time" hearing any bills that they don't support. And those Republicans don't want to give anyone they disagree with the opportunity to have any one else know about ideas that differ from theirs.

      And some GOP members act vindictively toward any Democrat that criticizes them openly.

      Sounds awfully Machiavellian to me. Thanks again, John.

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    3. By the way, John, what about Democratic voters in the district you represent? Don't they deserve to have diversity of ideas considered in the state legislature?

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    4. You know what wastes time, Kavanagh?

      Pee bills.

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  3. The legislature is not a debating society. It is a lawmaking body. I debate the issues on Horizon, Politics Unplugged, Sunday Square off, forums like Saturday's Stand Your Ground one and blogs like this. There is a time and place for everything. We debate bills in the legislature that have a chance of passage to improve them, not for sport or to comply with some liberal equal time rule.

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