Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bill To Create Emergency Border Warnings Dead

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Hank Stephenson reports in the Nogales International that state Rep. Peggy Judd has abandoned her efforts to force the state Department of Homeland Security to issue warnings about dangers in Southern Arizona:

Yvonne Delgadillo, executive director of Nogales Community Development, said issuing warnings about the border region in Arizona is unnecessary and dishonest. She said the bill would have stoked fears about the border region, even though the crime rate is actually lower on the border than in most places.

“Quite frankly, I think the reason a lot of us so strongly oppose this bill is because it does provide lies to the public,” she said. “If we’re only representing the negative things, which are probably not nearly what other communities have, then aren’t we lying to the public by misrepresenting the area?”

Citing these concerns and effective lobbying efforts, Judd killed the measure. By a show-of-hands vote, the group also convinced her to kill a “strike-everything” amendment that she had proposed to address some of the concerns with the original bill, including defining the 62-mile border region defection and making the warnings only available by email to those registered to receive them. That strike-everything bill would have gone to a full Senate vote Monday.

“I didn’t even know what a step out on the limb this was, or how thin the limb was,” Judd said after agreeing to kill the measure. “I want you guys to trust me and know that I do care, I do vote for tourism dollars, I do understand.”

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