Message #30: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'z Matthias Giessler'" Subject: AZ Legislative Update Date: Wed, 10 Jan 96 10:27:00 MST Encoding: 120 TEXT Legislative Update The Arizona Legislature opened its session on Monday, January 8, 1996. Arizona Legislative bills will be distributed electronically this year. I am subscribed to LOLA Legislation On Line Arizona), a subscription electronic service with documentation of all legislation. You can track Arizona legislation 'free of charge' on the Internet by using ALIS (Arizona Legislative Information Service) Online, located at http://www.azleg.state.az.us/. As necessary, I plan to visit with Legislators during this session to discuss historic preservation issues. I will report appropriate details to the Governor's Arizona Archaeology Advisory Commission and to the Legislative Committee of the Arizona Archaeological Council. Details also will be posted to the Southwestern Archaeology Special Interest Group (SASIG) on the Southwestern Archaeology (SWA) Internet site. Please let me know your concerns. Here are a few predictions gleaned from more prescient crystal ball gazers: Major Issues (and Historic Preservation Legislation ??) at the State Legislature in 1996 1. Property taxes & the promised $200M cuts will probably dominate this session. A host of Republicans signed on to this tax cut proposal with considerable enthusiasm last year (thinking that homeowners would be the primary beneficiaries). However, Lori Daniels, R-Chandler & chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, is now proposing that these cuts target businesses. This could divide the majority caucuses in both the House and Senate (Senators Wettaw & Gnant have already gone on record against the Daniels proposal). 2. School funding could be the other biggie this year and consensus among people seems to be that this and the property tax issue could be quite divisive. 3. Juvenile justice is another hot button concern. As you might know, Rick Romley has come up with a proposal in collaboration with a judge and Symington and his people have already made their [mild] dissent known. 4. The moratorium on abortion legislation has been lifted by Senate President John Greene but the leadership is trying to limit abortion bills to just the issue of parental consent with judicial bypass (when minors seek abortions). My thinking is that the explosive nature of this issue will overwhelm leadership attempts to restrict debate in this manner. 5. Finally, the budget! Bob Burns has already threatened the zeroing out of child/family development programs benefiting AZ's poor. As you may know, the much maligned Success by Six program was split into several different programs under the so-called Child & Family Stability Act. This Burns proposal has already come under attack by both Democrats and moderate Republicans like Freddy Herschberger & Ann Day. On another budget matter, Sen. Carol Springer of Prescott has proposed a cut in auto license taxes. All of this is, of course, going to be complicated by what Symington and his staff decide to propose. 6. Speaking of Symington, the main thing from the standpoint of the lege is the departure of Chuck Coughlin as the gov's deputy chief of staff (who was considered "difficult to work with" even by Republican legislators). It's also rumored that the gov's chief of staff Wes Gullett might depart the 9th floor (he's also not liked by legislators). The governor's legal troubles might overshadow the legislative agenda, esp. if indictments come down. All this means that the odds are stacked AGAINST any new proactive historic preservation legislation, and most probably, AGAINST any major or minor revision of existing antiquities statutes or any new punitive anti-historic preservation bills (such as that rumored to be in the works by Mark Lewis of Robson Communities). This is not to say that it won't happen but the above mentioned items might simply consume too much time and legislative attention. The Arizona State Land Department, the AZ State Museum and the AZ SHPO worked hard last year to revise the regulatory timeframe of the State Land compliance process. Hopefully, this work will be recognized as being efficient, and the issue of proposed punitive legislation will die. A December 5th meeting allowed a number of archaeologists to critically consider " how we are doing and where we are heading." The big fear was that we must consider these issues for ourselves "before we are directed by others to do so or before others do it for us." Frankly, we tend to credit our profession with too much importance as we watch the budget debates and efficiency-in-smaller-government battle slogans swirl about. Historic preservation legislation probably is a non-issue in Arizona this legislative session. Therefore, while it is good to look forward and coordinate improvements in one's own agency rules, regulations, policies, and administrative procedures, all should now keep their powder dry and refrain from further meetings that stir the pot and lower expectations.