AZ anti-UN-sustainability bill advancing - CBS 5 - KPHO

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AZ anti-UN-sustainability bill advancing

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's a bill currently in the statehouse that says it's protecting our freedom, but opponents claim it will actually lead to the loss of jobs and federal funding in Arizona.

When CBS 5 News tried to get to the truth, the bill's sponsor didn't want to answer any questions.

Sustainability means using what the earth provides in a way that doesn't rob the ability to do so for future generations. 

Whole industries and programs in the Valley are popping up, promoting cleaner energy and more efficient homes for this very purpose.

But sustainability has become a dirty word to conservatives in the state legislature who believe preserving the earth somehow is letting international forces, namely the UN, rob us of our freedom to do with the land as we please.  

"There is a bill in the legislature that is labeled the anti-sustainability bill, which is ironic because I am a brand new mayor of Phoenix and I am trying to brand our city as a pro-sustainability city," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

SB 1507, sponsored by Sen Judy Burges, the same woman behind the birther bill, would stop all funding for sustainability jobs and programs - outlawing all perceived international forces at work. 

Even if the UN has sinister plans for the U.S., it has no authority or power here.  

But opponents of the bill say the consequences of SB 1507 are very real. ASU's School of Sustainability could be in jeopardy. Energize Phoenix, a program that offers cash incentives to make our homes and appliances more efficient, could go away. 

" We need to be a city that is on the cutting edge of this and passing bills like the one that is on the docket today would send the exact wrong message about what our priorities are here locally," Stanton said.

CBS 5 News tried to interview Sen. Burges about why this bill is necessary, especially in the face of such financial consequences.

She would only send this brief statement.

"The bill is designed to protect the rights of Arizona citizens and prevent encroachment on those rights by international institutions. We have three branches of government and when one branch preempts the process through executive orders, the balance of power is lost in the process.  It is that simple - no more, no less."    

Follow-up questions to Burges about the potential loss of jobs and programs went unanswered.  

The bill became possible because of what's called the "strike everything" strategy in the legislature. A sponsor can write one bill, and once it gets through committee, they erase it and write something completely different.

In that way, the bill circumvents the normal review process. It doesn't have to go through committee again and has a better chance of getting passed.

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