Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lawmakers Are Taking a Stance on Tucson's Mail

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Remember when we told you that Tucson mail was going to hell in hand basket?

Well, Arizona lawmakers are trying to get Congress to do something about it.

House Concurrent Memorial 2007 urges Congress to protest the closure of Cherrybell Mail Processing Center in Tucson, which serves 1.8 million people.
Memorials allow state legislatures to make a statement on something that is outside their jurisdiction.

The resolution passed through the House (35-24) and needs to be heard in the Senate before the end of next week in order to advance.

It’s assigned to Senate Government and Environment Committee, which is chaired by Gail Griffin, R-Herford.

“I think I’m lucky that she’s the chair of the committee because she’s from Cochise County where Fort Huachuca is and I think it negatively affects them too,” said Rep. Andrea Dalessandro, the bill’s sponsor.

Dalessandro said Griffin told her she would hear the bill next week.

The center’s closure stands hurt a large number of Southern Arizonans, Dalessandro said.

“It makes no sense to me to have mail from Nogales come up to Phoenix to go across town in Nogales,” Dalessandro said.

The center serves 23,197 businesses and processes more than 3 million pieces of mail a day, according to the memorial.

Small businesses could be waiting on checks, veterans might have medicine delayed and time-sensitive legal documents could be a problem, Dalessandro said.

It also could make the already sluggish ballot tally time slower.

Arizona gained national attention during the 2012 election because of how long it took to count ballots during the 2012 election. Elections officials have been lobbying this session for ways to get early ballots back sooner.
Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez, objects to the center’s closure because it will cause a “detrimental impact to voters,” according to the memorial.

Dalessandro said she thinks she could have snagged more votes in the House if she hadn’t made a “freshman mistake.” Dalessandro said she wasn’t able to really lobby since she didn’t realize the bill was going to go to a third reading as quickly as it did.

“I’m willing to accept my error,” Dalessandro said. “Hopefully I’ll never make a mistake like that again.”