Sat, Oct. 19

Editorial: Legislative hypocrisy on full display in threat to Arizona municipalities

Sauce may be good for the goose but in Arizona we have a gander called the Arizona Legislature that turns a blind eye to the ethics of equal and fair play.

Never was that on display more clearly than last week when state lawmakers took a stand in firm opposition to a federal mandate on gun control, and in the same week threatened to withhold state shared revenue to Arizona cities and towns that do not toe the line on the laws they create.

The stubborn stand by lawmakers against the federal government is nothing new. We've seen it before on everything from Obamacare to immigration reform. And let's not forget that vivid memory of former Gov. Jan Brewer shaking her finger in the face of the president the moment he stepped off Air Force One during a visit to the Grand Canyon State.

It continued this past week when a Senate panel pushed forward legislation declaring the latest executive action on guns taken by President Obama is not enforceable in Arizona.

Then, in a hypocrisy-laden about face just two days later, lawmakers voted to let the attorney general direct that state aid be withheld to cities and towns that do not abide by their new state mandates.

Often, you will hear state lawmakers balk at obeying new federal laws that do not come with the corresponding federal funding to finance their implementation.

Similarly, Arizona cities and towns will say it's not that they do not want to abide by new state legislative mandates, but that they simply cannot afford to do so. The mandates are void of any financial assistance for implementation.

There are countless examples of the state putting new demands on our public school system while at the same time stripping those schools' budgets every year.

As for the obligation for anyone to obey new state laws, the Arizona education system has done a pretty convincing job of showing - in a court of law with favorable judicial rulings - that the Arizona Legislature does not even follow its own laws when it comes to education funding.

So lawmakers may want to take a step or two back on this measure about yanking state aid to Arizona municipalities that don't do things exactly as they see fit.

While they are at it, they may want to take a minute to look in the mirror.

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