Friday, February 4, 2011
"Arizona is a leader in the movement, but now, we are seeing several states stepping up," said Brewer, who has made challenging the federal government one of her administration's top priorities. "We need to be able to make the decisions that control the destiny of our populations. And if the government would step back and give us the opportunity, we would do a great job."
Political analysts say there are a lot of reasons Arizona is a perfect breeding ground for such an effort.
These include its ongoing fiscal pressures, the increasingly conservative makeup of its state Legislature, a sympathetic Republican governor who rose to national prominence after signing SB 1070 and publicly denouncing the federal government's border-security efforts, and a population that, in many ways, still embodies and embraces an individualist, pioneer ideology.
Bills before the Legislature include:
- SCR 1016, which proposes a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution so that any increase in the federal debt would require approval from a majority of the states. Arizona is one of six states that has introduced such legislation. The resolution was advanced out of the Senate's federalism committee Thursday.
- SB 1433, which creates a 12-member committee that could "vote by simple majority to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law or regulation that is outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government."
- HB 2077, which would require any "federal regulatory agency" to register with the appropriate sheriff whenever its representatives enter one of Arizona's 15 counties. Critics say such a bill could end surprise visits by mine inspectors, Environmental Protection Agency officials and others.