Monday, October 4, 2010

Who tampered with House Bill 2251?

Prior posts have described how House Bill 2251, establishing the Arizona Centennial Museum and transferring the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum to the Arizona Historical Society, was pushed through the legislature in spite of public protest. One lone Senator did attempt to limit the damage caused by the bill, and prepared an amendment. Four provisions of that amendment are described and explained in the August 15 post (Will the Arizona Centennial Museum comply with the law?)

The original bill, drafted by the Governors staff or by a lobbyist supporting the Governors project, politicized the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources. Previously, the Director of ADMMR reported to a five member board of governors, thus insulating the department’s activities from political manipulation. The original bill changed that, making the director report directly to the Governor, and opening the door to political mischief.

During Senate meetings preparing the amendment to the bill, a majority of participants agreed that the portion of the bill politicizing the ADMMR was not appropriate. There fore, there was a fifth provision in the amendment that eliminated this inappropriate change to the law. The Governors representatives objected, but the majority, and the Senator, insisted that the board retain control of ADMMR.

Somehow, this agreed upon 5th provision of the amendment was never integrated into the amendment document that was voted on by the Senate. As signed by the Governor, the law effectively eliminates the ADMMR board. The Director of the ADMMR is now subject to the whim of the Governor.

Who made this unauthorized change in the bills amendment?

What was their motive?

Were they acting under the Governors direction?

What mischief is the Governor planning?

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