Will there be a jersey? Pearce retires bill number 'SB 1070' - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Will there be a jersey? Pearce retires bill number 'SB 1070'

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David Schapira is the Arizona Senate Minority Leader and a Democrat from District 17.

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 3:17 pm | Updated: 10:09 pm, Wed Jun 8, 2011.

Senate President Russell Pearce is doing something normally reserved for team owners and coaches: He's retiring a number.

But it doesn't involve the jersey of the retiring star quarterback or the centerfielder who hit a record number of home runs.

Instead, the Mesa Republican is retiring the number of a bill. And that means no one gets to have legislation this year or next - and maybe beyond - named SB 1070.

Pearce said it was done on purpose, saying the number has "national and international implications."

That was the number assigned at random last year to Pearce's far-reaching measure to give police more power to detain and arrest illegal immigrants.

Billed as the toughest state law aimed at those in the country illegally, it gained worldwide attention when it was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer. That fame only spread when various civil rights groups and, later, the Obama administration, asked U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton to declare it illegal. And that continued after Bolton enjoined some of the key provisions from taking effect.

Pearce said that people who may not understand exactly what is in the Arizona law are familiar with it, at least by number because of all the publicity.

"I go all over this country," he said. "They don't know the numbers of their own bills. But you talk to any state, they know what 1070 stands for."

In fact, Pearce said, an acquaintance who recently returned from Vietnam said SB 1070 was "all they would talk about."

Bill numbers normally are assigned in order based on when legislators file their proposals. All bills have four numbers, with Senate bills beginning with the number 1.

In this case, the number would have gone to Senate Minority Leader David Schapira. The Tempe Democrat showed up in the clerk's office with nine bills. And the last number assigned had been SB 1061.

Seeing that, Schapira juggled his bills to pick the one he wanted assigned SB 1070: A ban in state law against "racial profiling" by police officers in stopping individuals and making investigations.

It also would require police to document each traffic stop with information about the person detained, the reason for the stop, and whether any property was seized or an arrest made. That kind of data could be used to determine if race is a factor in traffic stops.

And it would require that any police agency found to have engaged in racial profiling to retrain its officers.

But he didn't get SB 1070.

"I hit a speed bump," Schapira said. His bill was assigned SB 1071.

Schapira joked that Pearce's action means that other legislators should be able to take bill numbers out of rotation. For example, he said there should be no Senate bill numbered 1666.

"That's just an evil bill," he quipped.

Pearce's ability to tie up that number is not perpetual. His power to do that is based on his position as Senate president, a term that lasts only two years.

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