My goal: Bat .500 in my first year in the Arizona Legislature

Sometimes you just need to lighten it up a bit.  The Sierra Vista Herald did so in a bit of a tongue-in-cheek poke at our LD 14 elected officials.

But I do think it points to a more serious issue:  Elected politicians prove how hard they work for special interests by proposing bills that narrowly focus on the needs of those interests.  Each legislative session there is a flood of over 500 bills. Most never make it to the governor's desk.  (Thank goodness!)

My approach is less is more.  In my first year in Phoenix I would keep my head down, learn the system and focus on important issues.  I expect that I would not propose more than three or four bills at most.  (I have already promised to propose a repeal of SB 1487 passed in 2016).  Read the Herald's editorial below.  I'm shooting for .500.

Editorial from Herald Review - March 22, 2018

Spring has arrived and Arizona is hosting the annual ritual of spring training, so we feel confident in making a baseball reference.

 

Think of yourself as a manager for a moment.

 

Would you keep a player on the roster who hasn’t had a hit in 72 at-bats? How about another who has one hit in 110 plate appearances? What if the best of the bunch was 1-for-94?

 

It’s good that our locally elected state officeholders aren’t trying to make a Major League Baseball roster.

 

After almost three months of toil and trouble at the Capitol, the collective record of our trio of legislators is two bills signed into law, with 276 bills introduced or co-sponsored.

 

Leading that list is State Rep. Drew John who is the “prime” sponsor on 14 of the 110 initiatives he has signed to support.

 

One of those bills, House Bill 2317, has been signed by Gov. Doug Ducey. The measure eliminates the five-year limit on handicap placards hung on rear-view mirrors, and makes them valid for as long as the bearer meets the state’s definition of handicapped or disabled.

 

Other initiatives presented by John have either been knocked out or are still moving through the legislative process.

 

Among the more notable bills he’s sponsoring is a call to extend the term of senators and representatives from two years to four.

 

Our most veteran member of the Legislature, Sen. Gail Griffin, has her name on 94 bills, and is the primary sponsor of 65 of them. Of that total, just one has reached the governor’s desk and garnered his signature: SB 1038.

 

That provision cleans up the language in state land sales, and empowers the state land commissioner to accept more than only a cashier’s check as payment for a purchase.

 

As the Senate majority whip, Griffin has the political authority to shape legislation and influence the legislative process. She has used her position to introduce bills on water regulation, as well as issues affecting ranchers and real estate, among a host of other interests.

 

She has captured headlines in this session for petitioning to give veterans a tax break and going against Ducey’s plans for managing the state’s water resources.

 

Rep. Becky Nutt hasn’t had a bill reach the governor’s desk this session, and she’s been the primary sponsor on just three initiatives.

 

Her concerns focus on limiting school districts’ ability to seek revenue bond financing, loosening water quality regulations, and further restricting the tax levy collected by school districts.

 

Veterans of state government remind us that “it’s still early” in the second session of the 53rd Legislature, and there are still lots of bills that lawmakers may eventually adopt and the governor may sign.

 

Though we doubt all — or even most — of the initiatives presented by our Legislative District 14 elected officials will reach Ducey’s desk, there’s reason to hope for a better batting average this spring.

After all, even the best player’s average is only around .300.

 

Posted in Campaign Issues.