By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
A Southern Arizona lawmaker is unilaterally blocking efforts to get some state dollars to help with building a memorial in Tucson to victims of the 2011 shooting that killed six and wounded former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
HB2436, which sets aside $2.5 million, cleared the House two months ago on a bipartisan 49-11 margin. Senate President Steve Yarbrough then assigned it to the Appropriations Committee, as well as the Committee on Natural Resources, Energy and Water.
Sen. Debbie Lesko, who chairs the Appropriations panel, said she would hear it only after it cleared the other committee.
But Rep. Todd Clodfelter, R-Tucson, said Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, who is in charge of the Natural Resources committee, refused to even schedule the bill, which he sponsored and shepherded through the House, for a Senate hearing. And he said efforts to get an answer from Griffin about her reasoning have proven fruitless, leaving Clodfelter with little basis to question the action other than speculation.