2/21/2010 10:30:00 PM Editorial: Lawmakers spin wheels with bills
The Daily Courier
Seems the Arizona Legislature's peripheral vision ought to give way to tunnel vision at this critical time in the state's fiscal forecast.
After months of political wrangling, Arizona still stands on the brink of insolvency, and for all appearances, the road to solving this budget crisis is the road less traveled at the Capitol in Phoenix.
This isn't to say that legislators have shoved their gearshift into idle. A look at the Legislature's website shows that literally hundreds of bills are in the hopper for them to debate, toss, approve and send to the governor or let die a natural death.
With all due respect to lawmakers, many of these measures are likely well-intended measures that, if they make it into daylight, will be for the good of Arizona's citizens.
However, a few proposals are cause for head-scratching and beg the question of just how much time and paper they have wasted when lawmakers should be spending all their energy on one single issue right now - the budget debacle.
One bill would extend the waiting period for a divorce from 60 days to 180 days. Proponents say an additional few months would give a couple more time to heal a broken marriage, while opponents contend a relationship that is genuinely fractured is irretrievable and delay would only cause more irreparable harm. The red flag over this one is "do we want more government intervention into our private lives?"
Another bill on the fast track designates a Spanish Colonial breed as the state's official horse, taking its place alongside other symbols, such as the saguaro cactus blossom, the palo verde tree, the cactus wren and the bola tie.
Yet another intriguing proposition would urge the U.S. Congress "to make a formal apology for the role of the United States in the 1973 military coup in Chile."
Scrolling down the Legislature's website provokes at an abrupt stop at a House Concurrent Resolution buried in this blizzard.
This resolution calls for an amendment to the Constitution of Arizona that would go on the ballot, mandating that by June 30 of each year the Legislature shall enact and the governor approve a budget for the subsequent fiscal year or the salaries of the governor and each legislator shall be withheld temporarily until a budget is enacted.
Expecting state lawmakers to be miracle workers in fixing the state's horrendous fiscal mess isn't realistic. But, it is justifiable to ask them to concentrate on this and only this if Arizona is ever to get out of this quagmire.
Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010
Article comment by:
The concurrent resolution is on the mark. However it should go further it should also have a provision to lock up the legislators and the governor until they have a budget written and approved. This seems to work when choosing a Pope.