Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Harmful special-interest, power-line bill dies in House

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats and their colleagues worked late Monday to defeat a bill that would have given more power to special interests and damaged Arizona’s property rights, wildlife and beautiful lands.

SB 1517, sponsored by Rep. Frank Pratt, R-Casa Grande (District 23) and Sen. Al Melvin, R-Saddlebrooke (District 26), would have allowed special interests to bypass a state power-line siting committee, instead use a weaker federal process and rush to build power lines over rural counties and conservation areas. It would have allowed huge power lines to be built without public hearings or input.

“I’m thankful to all of my colleagues, Democratic and Republican, who saw the harmful potential of this bill to our Arizona lands,” said Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson (District 29), Ranking Member on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The few who supported this bill were the few who supported special interests over Arizona and closed doors over transparency. That is never the right thing to do. Government should work for ‘We, the people’.”

The bill died in the House on a 14-40 vote.

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