Sierra Club Flunks Republican Lawmakers

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The Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club releases its 2011 report card on the Arizona Legislature. As you can see if you look over the details, the GOP grades are not good:

Despite their best efforts, Arizona legislators did not do nearly as much damage as they intended this session. Of course, saying that “it could have been worse” just lets them off the hook for a variety of truly awful actions, many of which will be resurrected next year. They did almost nothing to advance environmental protection, either.

“Arizona is this amazing place with truly incredible natural wonders — from Grand Canyon to Petrified Forest to Saguaro national parks, not to mention our remarkable state park system that safeguards Kartchner Caverns, Homolovi Ruins, and the Tonto Natural Bridge,” said Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter. “Why are our ‘leaders’ proposing to mortgage this wonderful natural capital just to advantage one business or industry or to serve some personal perceived slight? It is our health, the state’s biological diversity, and the future of Arizona’s children that are most at risk.”

It was again a highly partisan session, but the worst aspects of it were the abuse of power by those in leadership. From banning individuals from buildings and news conferences to limiting media access to suspending the rules at a drop of the hat, it was pretty outrageous. The budget was probably the best example of a body run amok. Only 30 hours after the Senate dropped its budget bills, they passed. The House then jammed through significant amendments to those budget bills in less than 24 hours. The Committee Hearings were not noticed properly, the bills and amendments were not posted properly, and, in the end, the legislators sent the governor budget bills that they had not read properly and that contained considerable errors. There was no opportunity for the larger public to participate.