Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Arizona: GOP lawmakers can skirt Brewer

GOP lawmakers can skirt Brewer

Here are five ways the Legislature will change as a result of this month's election results:

1. The lay of the land, Republicans, many running on the tea party dynamic of smaller government, will have a supermajority in both legislative houses.

They held 35 of the 60 House seats in 2010, and will jump to 40 next January. Their current 18-12 majority in the Senate will be extended to a 21-9 advantage next year.
That means they can override the governor if she decides to veto any legislation. They also can pass emergency enactments, meaning changes could go directly into law instead of waiting the usual 90 days.

2. Changes in Tucson districts

3. Leadership changes, The House Speaker, Kirk Adams of Mesa, will be the same, but controversial Sen. Russell Pearce will lead the upper chamber.

4. Setting the stage, Republican Sen. Frank Antenori of Tucson had hoped Pearce, an immigration lightning rod, would put aside his push for a reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, which grants birthright citizenship, to focus on stimulating the economy and reforming the tax code.

Antenori said he feared a loss of focus if national TV cameras and protesters swoop down on the state Capitol to talk about volatile immigration measures.

"You don't want to lose focus when you're trying to explain the reason we're doing certain things is to create a pro-growth, pro-jobs economy," he said.

But in the end, Pearce agreed only to not do a final reading of any such bill until after the economic measures are off the table - which means those volatile early hearings could be waged simultaneously with complex financial discussions.

Pearce, meanwhile, boasted on television on election night that Brewer "would have to admit that if it wasn't for 1070, she wouldn't be elected."

5. A new approach to cutting government, "Does it need to be there to that degree? No. We need to determine what the core responsibility of government is, and work from there. Everything beyond that is a luxury we can't afford."

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