State Capitol News
11:33 am
Tue February 23, 2010

Lawmakers work toward open question sessions for governor

Phoenix, AZ – The legislation would require the governor to show up at least
twice a month, for at least a half hour each time. Each political
party would get half of the alloted time. Sen. Jonathan Paton
said there needs to be more of what he calls an ongoing dynamic
conversation between lawmakers and the state's chief executive.
But he said the exercise also benefits voters, like when
President Obama went to talk to congressional Reublicans and it
was broadcast on TV.

(And they learn a lot about their lawmakers. And they learn a lot
about the chief executive by watching that interaction. And I
think that whoever you're going to have up there, whether
answering the questions or asking the questions, is going to have
to be able to hold their own and really going to have to
demonstrate that they have a full knowledge of the issues.)

But Sen. Ken Cheuvront pointed out the real model is the question
time that takes place each week in the British Parliament. And he
wasn't sure that system, which includes heckling, would work well
here.

(I've watched some of these sessions in the English Parliament.
And they can get pretty nasty. And my concern is are we setting
ourselves up to a point where it just becomes the opposite party
is just going to see how much they can embarass whoever the chief
executive is at that time.)

The Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a 4-3 vote,
sending it to the full Senate. For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.