Animal abusers would lose right to have pets

PHOENIX - Animal abusers would lose the right for anyone in their household to have a pet for at least two years under proposed legislation approved Thursday by the state House.

HB 2073, approved 44-12 and sent to the Senate, would require anyone convicted of animal cruelty to transfer all animals to someone else not living in the same house, or to an animal welfare or rescue group. The measure says an abuse conviction would not preclude someone from engaging in ranching or commercial horse training.

House OKs change in teacher training

PHOENIX - The state House voted to require that teacher-education programs be revamped to conform with the new "common core" standards Arizona has adopted for math and English education.

Thursday's 36-21 approval of HB 2563 came over the objections of some who said it was none of the Legislature's business to direct how public school teachers are trained. Rep. John Allen, R-Scottsdale, said he's sure colleges and universities preparing Arizona teachers will follow the preferred standards without legislative intervention.

But Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said Arizona must do something different to prepare students for jobs and college. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

Campaign-finance limits could change

PHOENIX - Ignoring a likely lawsuit over constitutionality, House Republicans pushed through legislation Thursday to let privately financed candidates take much more money from individual donors and political action committees.

The bill, approved on a 32-23 largely party-line vote, would scrap the $440 limit on what a candidate can take from any one source for any election. Instead, they could take up to $4,000 for each campaign.

HB 2593, which now goes to the Senate, also would eliminate the current prohibition against any individual giving more than $6,390 in any year to all candidates for statewide and legislative offices. They could give as much as they want.

Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services