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.

(2) comments

John Flanagan

This editorial covered a lot of ground. Issues of stupid bills introduced by either political party are ones we should always debate in the marketplace of ideas, and we need to hold our politicians accountable. As an independent conservative, I am free of a full partisan hold on issues, and therefore I can step back and try to deal with the details and unintended (or intended) consequences of legislation. As a conservative, it does not mean we must support all things Republican, and I hope liberal leaning independents do not automatically slide over to the Democrats without thinking about proposed legislation on the merits alone.
Common Core standards are not without criticism from teachers as well as some Republicans in our state and elsewhere. If journalists in print and other media were to do their jobs of actually analyzing, documenting, and interviewing both sides on this issue....then the American audience they serve might be able to make informed decisions. Far too many media organizations just print the talking points of the side they prefer. I watch most of the news stations and have found, fir example, MSNBC will interview only the "experts" who fall in line to support their editorial position. Fox News, always under criticism, will usually give some fairness and present opposing voices. And that is why Fox leads in the polls......not MSNBC or CNN.
Lastly, the issue about warrantless inspections of abortion facilities. Absolutely essential. If these facilities which deal in the destruction of unborn children and murder must be notified in advance, they may conceal all kinds of abuses and criminal acts. In NY, I was a state Inspector of small and large food service facilities, from huge wholesale bakeries and manufacturing plants to small grocery stores, and my inspections were legally unannounced. If a business knows you are coming to inspect them for vermin control, sanitation, and food handling on a pre-determined scheduled day, what do you think would happen? The answer is they would clean up their act for that day, and operate sloppily the rest of the year. Apply the unannounced inspection idea to abortion facilities, because it is both reasonable and necessary to see if the laws are followed. I pray that someday all of these factories of tears and death are all shut down for good.
To the issue of the Republicans and some of their bills.....hold them to the fire, but also hold the Democrats to the fire, for Obamacare, for lack of fiscal responsibility, for some executive orders and bureaucratic edicts coming from this inept President, for their continued looting of the treasury, and this needs to be made by a media that seems to favor the Democrats whether they are right or wrong, a very dangerous and unreasonable position for the so called watchdogs of government.

Geoff Chambers
Geoff Chambers

Really, Thelma, what bills of equivalent lunacy would Democrats be passing? Bills to prohibit chicken raising (presumably to save municipalities the time in passing their own)? Bills exempting abortion clinics from following regulations that apply to other medical facilities?

I thought you were doing just fine until you got to the end and felt the need to make some kind of balancing statement. The reality is, Republican legislatures across the country are seeking to do at the state level what the GOP has been unable to do at the federal level - repeal regulations, overturn constitutional protections (abortion and gay rights, for example) and advance other conservative/libertarian causes. The result is what you rightfully called a "never-ending load of nonsense," and the affliction is limited to one party.

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