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.