State Capitol News
10:23 am
Fri September 11, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor pushes for changes in state government

Phoenix, AZ – A former justice of the U-S Supreme Court is taking on a new
role: pushing for changes in the way state government here is
operated.

Sandra O'Connor is no stranger to public policy debate. Before
Ronald Reagan named her the first woman on the nation's high
court she had been a state senator and a judge on the Arizona
Court of Appeals. O'Connor has now put together 101 business,
academic, civic, labor and other interests to comment on how to
get the state to function better. She said that can't be left to
the Legislature.

"They have a limited number of days in session. And this year it
consisted primarily of worrying about the budget. And there
wasn't the opportunity to consider an array of substantive issues
that have nothing to do with the budget."

The group already is moving to recommend that the state school
superintendent, treasurer and mine inspector be appointed by the
governor with Senate confirmation rather than elected. They also
want to create a post of lieutenant governor who would run on the
same ticket -- and be of the same party -- as the governor.

"Most voters don't realize that the secretary of state is the one
that comes into office if the governor can no longer serve in
that capacity or is no longer serving in that capacity. That's
happened to Arizona any number of times in the last 50 years."

And O'Connor said the fact voters rejected that proposal in 1994
doesn't mean it should not go back on the ballot again.