Gov. Jan Brewer Monday vetoed six bills, including one thatdemanded the federal government relinquish title to most of itslands within Arizona. She signed a bill that requires cities and towns to hold theircandidate elections at the same time as the state, a move thatmeans no more spring-time council races, such as Fountain Hills andTempe are staging Tuesday. The action comes as Brewer is moving to clear her desk of the billslawmakers sent her from the recently concluded legislative session.Today is the deadline for action.
By vetoing Senate Bill 1332, Brewer said that while she supportsstate sovereignty, the bill violates the U.S. Constitution. Shealso worried that adding up to 23 million acres of federal land tostate control would burden the state’s ability to manage the landin a time of limited budgets. She also vetoed another bill that rebuffed the federal government,SB 1182. It prohibited any Arizona law-enforcement officers fromcomplying with the National Defense Authorization Act.
But Brewer said the bill would force law enforcement to choosebetween following the U.S. Constitution or state law, and added shewould not force police to make such a choice. Cities and towns lobbied hard for Brewer, an advocate of localcontrol, to also veto House Bill 2826, which consolidates localcandidate elections in the name of saving money and boosting voterturnout. The law, which takes effect with elections in 2014,continues to permit springtime elections on bond issues, recallelections and special elections to fill vacancies. Local officials argued the consolidated schedule will cost themmore and lead to “ballot fatigue,” as voters lose interest as theymove down a lengthy ballot. Tank Rotator
But Brewer noted those same arguments were around 16 years ago,when the state first moved toward limited consolidated elections. “(T)ime has shown that it has not hindered the election process,”Brewer wrote in a letter accompanying the bill signing. The bill ends the practice of cities such as Phoenix, which holdmayor and council elections in odd-numbered years. “We’re going to talk to our attorneys and assess our position,”said Karen Peters, who lobbies for Phoenix at the state Capitol. China Hardfacing Machine
Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, who is leaving office this spring, saidthe bill is a solution in search of a problem. Tempe has handledits elections fine with the current system, he said. “With the massive ballot length, voters are not going to be asfocused or concerned as they get farther down the ballot,” he saidof a primary ballot that could include congressional, statewide,legislative, school-board and local candidates. Ken Strobeck, executive director League of Arizona Cities andTowns, said a longer ballot might save money, but it might haveunintended consequences. “I don’t think that will produce a more informed voter,” he said. H Beam Welding Manufacturer
Brewer’s vetoes brought her total thus far to 26, moving her closerto last year’s record of 29.