Resign to run

Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Tuesday to ease the path of elected officials who want to seek another office.

A 1980 voter-approved measure prohibits anyone serving in elective office from running for another post before the last year of his or her term. At least part of the idea was precluding those officials from spending their time campaigning rather than doing their job.

But Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said the law is full of loopholes.

The most obvious is that someone can form an “exploratory committee” at any time saying, in essence, that they are weighing whether to run for another office. That act allows someone to gather nominating signatures and even solicit campaign donations for the future office.

This new law, which takes effect later this year, permits that formal announcement without that risk.


Calling it a matter of public safety, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have eased the penalty for those who use fireworks when and where they have been banned.

Arizona legalized things like sparklers and smoke devices in 2010.

Lawmakers did agree to permit cities to ban their use, though not their sale. Counties cannot restrict the use of these items except during periods of declared high fire danger.

Current law makes violations a misdemeanor, with a possible 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. This legislation would have eliminated any possibility of incarceration, with a $300 maximum fine.

“This bill’s language does not take into account different regional circumstances and local safety and fire concerns regarding the use of fireworks,” Brewer wrote in her veto message.

• Compiled by Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services.

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