Government Accountability

Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.

<p>Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.</p>

After well over four years in Arizona, my wife and I have finally sold our property in Texas and we’re ready to buy a house here. I work near downtown Phoenix, but we’d like a little room and we’re not flush with cash, so I’m willing to drive. That means we could choose to live in most communities in the Valley, as long as they’re within about 20 miles of downtown Phoenix. One city in particular, though, is scratched off the list: Glendale.

How do you close a $35 million budget gap? Perhaps the better question is why that hole was dug in the first place. One answer for the City of Glendale is hockey. In fiscal year 2012, the city added $20 million (up from only $1.2 million the year before) to its operating budget for the Jobing.com Arena, where the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team plays. The NHL has been demanding financial support from the city since 2009, when the team filed for bankruptcy.

The Goldwater Institute is ready to give the once over to a possible sale of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team to see if a deal is kosher with Arizona law prohibiting government gifts to private businesses.

Sometimes important regulatory and tort reforms come in small packages. One example is SB1153, sponsored by Senator Andy Biggs. It proposes a simple reform to insurance law, holding responsible a negligent car renter to pay for injuries or damages he's caused.

As national Sunshine Week comes to a close, some legislators are trying to close out the sunshine. A new proposal would expand a current exemption to Arizona’s Public Records Laws and limit public information at universities.

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was a 1966 act which gave Americans increased access to federal government documents and records. It was amended in 1996 by the Electronic Freedom of Information Act amendments to provide access to this information electronically.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. At least that’s what I’ve been told. But there are high costs of learning about every law that might possibly impact you these days. You can randomly violate laws without even knowing it, given how intrusive and nonsensical they can be, and how often they change.

Sometimes important regulatory and tort reforms come in small packages. One example is SB1286, sponsored by Senator John McComish. It proposes a simple reform to insurance law, which currently requires a completely innocent car rental company and a completely negligent car renter to be equally responsible for paying for injuries caused by the renter.

By Kelly Nolan, Wall Street Journal

Arizona Republic editorial

Enough already.

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