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AZ Week Notebook entry


The Arizona Legislature opened its annual session this week with a speech from Gov. Jan Brewer.

We listened to the predictable rhetoric from both political parties, and we heard the predictable responses.

How the session will go is predictable, too: the Republican super majority will do what it wants when it wants, and the Democratic minority will flail flaccidly on the frontier of effectiveness.

Enough with the predictions. How about something unpredictable? How about our involvement in the process because we’re the people most affected by what the lawmakers do?

Yes, we’ll have our say at the voting booth come November, but why not avoid the rush and contact a legislator now to express your opinion on the work being done.

There’s plenty to comment on, because even before the legislative session opened, more than 150 bills had been proposed.

A small number of them relate to the Legislature’s primary responsibility – passing a state budget. The rest delve into a wide range of matters, including what is taught and who teaches in public schools, increased or reduced penalties for various criminal offenses and bills that would expand gun rights, allow seizure of uninsured vehicles and tighten eligibility for public-paid health coverage.

It’s frankly a dizzying array, and the main action hasn’t even begun yet. The governor’s budget proposal along with the details on policy changes she wants will come today and in the weeks ahead.

There will be something for everyone to favor or oppose. Our job as citizens is to take on favor and opposition and let our lawmakers know.

That’s called democracy, and it’s more realistic than any reality show.

So get in on the action. It will be a good way to start getting in shape for that ultimate reality show later this year, the general election.

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About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.

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Arizona Legislature general election Gov Jan Brewer