By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Money aside, there are other issues that must (or at least should) be dealt with this session, like Growing Smarter and air quality. I hear that many matters likely will wind up in the hands of the voters, in the form of initiatives on the November ballot. That's good news; I trust the people much more than our elected officials!
Legislators are eager to get out of the House and Senate and onto the campaign trail. With term limits kicking in, many will be running for new positions in 2000, and they can't raise money from lobbyists while they're in session. Instead of limiting the number of bills a member can introduce, our leaders had a better idea: Two weeks of the session normally devoted to committee hearings have been whacked. The losers? The public. Some hearings apparently will be held before the session starts, but notices have been scant for legislators and nonexistent when it comes to the public. So if you think there's going to be a bill you'd like to weigh in on, call your legislator (you can find him or her at www.azleg.state.az.us or by calling 602-542-4900) and speak up!
Most legislative sessions bear all the dignity of an episode of South Park, but this one promises to be the worst yet. The John McCain/George W. Bush primary battle will put House Speaker Jeff Groscost (a McCainite) and his minions up against Governor Jane Dee Hull (a Bushie) and hers -- and nothing will get done.
Happy New Year.
Contact Amy Silverman at 602-229-8443 or at her online address: email@example.com