You know the Arizona Legislature. It's the bunch that reduces education funding for some of the worst-funded schools in the nation, savagely cuts money to universities, has its hands in the hustles of the Charter School Racket and Private Prison Racket. The worthy solons who sold off pieces of the Capitol.
It is the birthplace of SB 1070, the Jim Crow anti-immigrant (really voter suppression) law. This is only one of its creations that helped make Arizona seem one of the craziest and most bigoted states. Anything forward looking, the majority opposes. Tax cuts? You bet. It is the Kookocracy.
But there was a time when Arizona had one of the most respected legislatures in the nation. Yes.
In fact, there were at least two sustained periods in the state's history when the Legislature worked.
This is no small thing because the Legislature is by far the most powerful branch of government in the state. Constitutionally, the governor was barely more than a figurehead — a status that has improved in recent years, but not by much. In other words, Arizona moves ahead, or backwards, depending on the Legislature.