Hire Authority

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We finally get the Big Reveal from Gov. Janet Napolitano: She signed the employer sanctions bill creating new penalties for companies that hire knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

State Rep. Russell Pearce is thrilled. In a bulletin to the press, Pearce said: "Arizona businesses now must play by the same rules or face the consequences. Arizona will have one fair system for employers and no longer are they going to be able to rely on cheap, illegal labor."

Well, it will certainly give Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas more opportunities to raise his profile while he angles for the governor's office in 2010.

In other news from the Capitol today: Napolitano vetoed the bill that would have created new hoops for Union Pacific to jump through before it could relocate a switching yard to Picacho Peak.

Rep. Jonathan Paton, the Tucson Republican who sponsored the bill, said: "I think she cared more about the big railroads and the unions than she did about the little guy and the environment.”

More to come in this week's Range!

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