Bill's death checks Symington

By Beth Silver

Arizona Daily Wildcat

PHOENIX The Senate Government Reform Committee killed a bill yesterday which would have given the governor the power to fire his own appointments.

Had the bill passed, members of the Arizona Board of Regents, who are appointed by the governor for eight-year terms, would have been subject to the law.

The committee voted 4-4, just missing the majority needed to send the bill on to the full Senate.

"I think our system works fine the way it is," said Sen. Ann Day, R-Tucson. "I think the checks and balances are upset by this and this would probably give the governor more power."

Regent John Munger, a Symington appointee, testified in favor of the bill, saying that if he does a bad job, the governor should be able to get rid of him.

"If I'm not part of the team, then I think you should have the right to remove me," he told the senators. "At no time has he (Gov. Fife Symington) ever told me how to vote on any matter. There's no effort to control our votes by the governor."

Paul Allvin, Arizona Students' Association executive director, said the bill would have hurt the student regent because it is only a one-year term. If the governor were to fire the student, it would take a year to find a replacement, leaving the board without a student voice.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Larry Chesley, R-Gilbert, who voted for the bill, said Allvin "didn't have a leg to stand on" in his argument. He said the governor could appoint a new student without Senate approval.

But Sen. Robert Chastain, D-Casa Grande, said that would hurt the system.

"That kind of cuts the Senate out from having anything to say about their dismissal," he said.

Earlier in the session, there was speculation that Sen. Janice Kay Brewer, R-Glendale, was sponsoring the bill to help Symington fire Regent Rudy Campbell. Campbell, a Symington appointee, supported Regent Eddie Basha in last November's gubernatorial election.

But Brewer said she has been working on the issue since Democrat Bruce Babbitt was governor. In addition, the bill would not have been retroactive, leaving anyone appointed before it became a law out of its reach.

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