• What will the legislature be up to come January?
    posted by Mike McClellan at 30 November, 3:53 PM  0 
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    More abortion limiting bills, of course.  More “pension-reform” bills.  Probably some more guns-in-who-knows-where legislation.

    But maybe we should ask House Speaker Andy Tobin for his agenda.

    By “his,” of course, I mean the marching orders Tobin got this week.

    No, not from his state constituents.  Forget that.

    Nope, from Tobin’s — and most of his Republican counterparts’ — real constituents:  ALEC.

    You might’ve missed this in yesterday’s story (here) about the Gov. deciding to give up our state’s right to create an insurance exchange and instead federalize it (an interesting choice in itself):

    “Tobin, R-Paulden, spoke in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., where he is attending the winter meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that promotes conservative legislation. Tobin also is meeting with Arizona’s delegation.”

    ALEC, you might recall, is financed by super-rich, super-conservative Koch brothers, those guys who’ll throw a few million here and a few million there to influence elections, Congressmen, and even lowly state legislators.   You know, bills like the Stand Your Ground Law (invoked  again this week in Florida when another young black teenager was shot by a white guy, this time over the loudness of music in the kid’s car.  The shooter claims the kid had a shotgun — police could find no weapon).

    The majority of our Republican caucus in the legislature are members, attending the summer conferences each year, where they learn what legislation to push in the upcoming sessions.

    So Tobin was back in D.C., getting his agenda for January.

    So I went to ALEC’s website  (here)  to see what Tobin and Co. will propose all too soon.  

    Unsurprisingly, not much in the way of specificity.  But here’s what the “workshops” focused on:  

    • Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force
    • Health and Human Services Task Force
    • International Relations Task Force
    • Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
    • Civil Justice Task Force
    • Communications and Technology Task Force
    • Commerce, Insurance, And Economic Development Task Force
    • Education Task Force

    Who knows what’s cookin’ in those “task forces.”  But one thing’s for sure:  We’ll see the results come January, when Tobin and Co. push the legislation favored by their constituents.  

    One suggestion, though:

    In the name of accuracy, our Republicans should stop the sham of representing a specific Arizona location and simply use the one-size-fits-all label — Rep. Andy Tobin, R-ALEC, Sen. Andy Biggs — R-ALEC, etc.

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    Mike McClellan

    Post Author: Mike McClellan

    Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.

    Website: http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/mikemcclellansblog/

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