Thursday, October 28, 2010

GOP lets special interest friends make decisions, money on major Ariz. issues

Republicans fail to solve state problems, ignore Dem bills on private prisons, border security

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today NPR uncovered that Republicans’ special interest friends and lobbyists were the ones who made the decisions behind closed doors about one of the most serious issues affecting our state.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s and Republicans’ friends in the unsecure private prison industry reportedly drafted in four days in a Hyatt conference room the legislation that became SB 1070, a law that would benefit their own companies.

"Jan Brewer and Republicans are allowing special interests and lobbyists to run our state,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “They don’t care about solving the real issues people deal with like the Krentz family’s tragedy or the couple in Oklahoma who was burned to death by two private prison escapees.”

Brewer’s top advisers are former lobbyists for private prison companies. This summer, three convicted murderers escaped from an unsecure private prison in Kingman before killing a couple in New Mexico. Brewer has refused to address the lax security at private prisons.

“This just proves that once again, Republicans failed to get the job done on border security by creating laws that do nothing to address Arizona's real immigration problems — crime and violence along the border and in our neighborhoods,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell. “They continue to ignore Democrats' bills that secure our border in favor of back-room deals and political games with very real consequences for our state."

Brewer and Republicans ignored Democratic bills to address private prisons and border security:

House Democratic bills on PRIVATE PRISONS:
HB 2067 - private prisons; regulation (Lujan, 2009)
Cracks down on private prison infractions
Provides more accountability and safety
Never heard in GOV or MAPS committees
No votes taken on bill

HB 2208 - private prisons; regulation (Lujan, 2010)
Cracks down on private prison infractions
Provides more accountability and safety
Never heard in GOV or MAPS committees
No votes taken on bill

HB 2674 - private prison contractors; public records (Sinema, 2010)
Requires private prisons to make public information regarding their costs, staff, inmates and operations making them adhere to the same requirements as state operated prisons
Never heard in GOV or COM committees
No votes taken on the bill

House Democratic bills on BORDER SECURITY:
· HB 2201 (misconduct involving weapons; fraudulent transactions): Gives authorities better tools to combat weapons trafficking and increase public safety by making it a felony to purchase weapons under false pretenses. Sponsor: Lujan, 2010
· HB 2149 (drop houses; human smuggling): Combats the use of drop houses and human smuggling across the border. Sponsor: Sinema, 2009
· HB 2354 (forgery; human smuggling; classification): Makes it a Class 3 felony if a person commits forgery in connection with purchase, lease or renting of a dwelling used as a drop house. Sponsor: Sinema, 2010
· HB 2148 (human trafficking; violation): Provides law enforcement with more resources to prevent human smuggling in Arizona by clarifying and expanding the definition of trafficking. Sponsor: Sinema, 2009
· HB 2152 (human trafficking; liability; victim services): Deters human smuggling by allowing victims to collect damages from traffickers. Sponsor: Sinema, 2009
· HB 2151 (human trafficking coordinating council): Establishes a council to collect and organize data on human trafficking in Arizona in order to offer better, more effective solutions. Sponsor: Sinema, 2009

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