Senate committee sends emergency bill to the legislature

Phoenix —The Senate Committee on Border Security, Federalism and State’s Sovereignty voted on Thursday, January 26th to send two bills and a resolution to the legislature for a vote.

S.B. 1083 to establish the Arizona State Guard received six yes votes, one no and one not voting. Major General Salazar, Adjutant General of the National Guard, expressed some concerns about the wording in the Arizona Constitution which might make the Arizona State Guard under the National Guard. The Arizona State Guard when called by the governor would, in effect, be a militia and thus subject to National Guard. Senator Sylvia Allen noted that there is was an effort to write the language so that it is clear that they are two separate entities and the Arizona State Guard would be under Arizona State control. Another point General Salazar made was whether or not federal agencies would welcome State Guard personnel in their areas of operation. He was unclear what coordination could be conducted.

He did clarify that he was not objecting the the legislation but pointing out areas of the legislation and Arizona Constitution that might cause contention. At one point he joked, “I’m not taking this personally.”

One concern expressed was basically giving a gun to untrained people and sending them to the border. In previous testimony, however, it was made clear that they would be trained before they were sent into areas of operation. One Senator with previous military experience balked at the notion giving several examples of where the Army trained various groups around the world in a short amount of time to fight.

SCR 1008 and S.B. 1081 giving counties the ability to declare emergencies in the forested areas to clean out fire fuels also passed, both with a vote of 6 yes and two not voting.