With all the craziness that has hallmarked Arizona’s current legislative session, there’s been little cause for celebration. But yesterday evening, smiles and cheers rang through the state, and we have Governor Brewer to thank.
It’s unusual for me to praise Governor Brewer. We have differing ideas about immigration reform and education funding, among other things. But when someone allows reason to overrule fear and puts public safety on par with individual rights, it’s important to say thanks. When someone takes the difficult step of doing what’s best for her state versus what’s best for her party, it’s important to highlight.
By vetoing SB 1467, the bill that would have allowed guns on college campuses, Governor Brewer validated the concerns of law enforcement and university officials, parents and students. She sided with experts and concerned parties and refused to endanger the lives and livelihoods of thousands. Governor Brewer is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment but recognized that this bill went too far, overreaching gun rights at the expense of public safety.
By rejecting HB2177, the Governor spared Arizona the ridicule and constitutional challenges that would have allowed circumcision and baptismal certificates to be used as a means to validate a presidential candidate as a natural born U.S. citizen. The ‘birther’ bill, as it was called, was the brainchild of Representative Carl Seel. He recently skipped out of the legislative session to parade his bill in front of possible presidential candidate Donald Trump. How this trip to New York helped the legislation or the state of Arizona remains a mystery.
Governor Brewer should also be thanked for her role in negotiating the pension reform bill that recently passed the Senate and now sits on her desk. The author of the House bill, Representative Kirk Adams, was less than welcoming to law enforcement unions who asked to be part of the negotiating process. Governor Brewer forced several revisions to make the legislation less damaging for public safety employees while still implementing sweeping changes.
The reasonable approach Governor Brewer has taken with these bills is to be commended. Whether an R or a D, all politicians should be willing to listen to both sides of a debate and work together to find common ground on important public policy issues. Compromise shouldn’t be a dirty word. Debate doesn’t have to be ugly or personal. Governor Brewer listened and offered sensible alternatives and sound vetoes. To that I say, “Kudos Jan!”