State Lawmakers End 2011 Session Today

Phoenix, AZ – The official word from Brewer is that she has not made any decisions on any of the legislation. But that does not mean the governor has no opinions. For example, one of the bills on her desk would give the Legislature the power to decide how to spend federal dollars. That is a power that now belongs to Brewer as the state's chief executive. If the idea sounds familiar, it should. Lawmakers have tried for years to get that power. In fact Brewer conceded to having voted for such a plan during her 14 years as a legislator. What's also true is that every governor, Republican and Democrat, has vetoed the idea as an infringement on executive power. Now it's Brewer's turn.

(I certainly can say that it's something that I am familiar with. It's something that I'm probably not real comfortable in regards to signing.)

The governor also has a unique perspective on another bill awaiting her action. It would require the state's two largest cities to seek bids for certain municipal services. She was a Maricopa County supervisor for six years where she dealt with the state imposing its mandates. That left an impression.

(Principally and philosophically I feel very strongly about not having other levels of government meddling in things of people that have already been elected to do those kinds of things. And we see it over and over and over again. The federal government doing to the states, the states doing it to the counties and the cities. And it's just wrong.

In making a decision of what to sign and veto, there's another factor at work. When she became governor two years ago it was solely because Janet Napolitano quit to take a job in the Obama administration. But this past November Brewer won a full term in her own right after handily defeating Democrat Terry Goddard. The governor said her basic views have not changed.

(I believe that I've always been my own person all the time I've been an elected official. Maybe it just comes across stronger now. But I will always do, and I believe I've always done what I believe is the right thing.)

Still, she said, it IS different with a mandate from the voters.

(You feel much more secure about making decisions. I think you always do the best job that you can. But that confidence, that feeling of secure, that your judgment has been validated by the voters. And that's a good feeling.)

And Brewer said there's one more benefit of being an elected governor.

(Now, people are returning my phone calls.)

The governor has through May 2nd to act on the 168 bills still left on her desk. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.