From Arizona Republic
Secession from Arizona pushed
Amendment would have allowed Pima County to form its own state
by Alia Beard Rau – Feb. 25, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Some southern Arizonans have had enough of the state Legislature’s efforts this year to assert its state sovereignty.
Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, proposed an amendment Thursday that would have allowed Pima County to secede from the state. The amendment was attached to a Republican state-sovereignty bill that would allow the Legislature to pick and choose which federal laws it would follow.
The Senate Committee of the Whole voted against Aboud’s amendment but supported the underlying Senate Bill 1433. It now goes to a final vote of the Senate.
Aboud said her amendment was intended to be as ridiculous as she believed the underlying bill to be.
“But while this is tongue-in-cheek, I can’t tell you the overwhelming support I’m getting from southern Arizona to secede,” Aboud said. “We don’t want to be part of a state that continues to embarrass Arizona.”
Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, supported the amendment, as did Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix.
“Out of all the problems facing the state of Arizona, this is the type of bill we should not be debating,” Gallardo said. “Let’s focus on what voters really want us to focus on: education, health care, Arizona’s economy.”
Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, defended her bill.
“This gives our body the ability to look at Obamacare and some other things that truly will throw this state into the Third World country we don’t want to be,” Klein said.
Despite the failure of Aboud’s amendment, the secession idea seems to be growing.
An organization called Start Our State has started a Facebook page and proposes to name the new state Baja Arizona.
Organizers acknowledge there are big hurdles in creating Baja Arizona. They must first get on the ballot, then get approval from the Legislature or from state voters to allow the break off.
A new state constitution would have to be drafted and approved, plus they’d have to get the OK from Congress and the president.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
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