Thursday, April 04, 2013

Gallego: ‘Conspiracy theorists hijacked our Legislature’

Gallego: ‘Conspiracy theorists hijacked our Legislature’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXToday House Democrats railed against the Republican extremists at the Capitol who continue to focus on conspiracy theories instead of the priorities of Arizonans.

“Conspiracy theorists have hijacked our Legislature,” Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 27), said. “There is no other explanation for the absurdity we saw in the House of Representatives today.”

Republicans, in an effort to appease Tea Party ideologues, amended a bill, HB 2573, to prevent the state from participating in a fictitious conspiracy involving the United Nations’ sustainability program, often referred to as Agenda 21. The amendment claims that the United Nations has enlisted the support of independent, nongovernmental organizations to implement its agenda. It prohibits local governments from working with any group attempting to overthrow the U.S. Constitution, with the express purpose of adopting Agenda 21.

“Somehow, the Republicans found the time to rally against the United Nations but they can’t bring themselves to find the time to do something important – like pass a budget,” Gallego said. “The Tea Party tried to promote crazy conspiracy legislation like this last year. It was crazy then and it is crazy now. What is next, black helicopters and tin foil hats?”

Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix (District 19), added that Republicans also brought a bill to the floor that would allow people to use gold and silver, instead of money, in financial transactions in the state.  

“SB 1439 is just another example of ideology being put ahead of common sense. It is ridiculous,” Cardenas said. “Like much of the legislation that is getting traction with extremists here, it is a solution in search of a problem.  We should not be spending time and taxpayer dollars debating bills like this, when we have yet to pass a budget, when Medicaid expansion has not been accomplished and when funding for Common Core education reform remains in jeopardy.”

House Democrats opposed both pieces of legislation. HB 2573 passed in the House, despite Democratic opposition and will now go to the Senate. The Committee of the Whole passed SB 1439 but this bill must be heard at least one more time in the House.

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