By a 16-13 vote, the AZ State Senate killed a plan that would have created a committee to study realigning the boundary between Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties. Three Republican Senators Carter, Farnsworth, and Mesnard voted no on the measure and Senator Boyer (R) abstained. Prior to the vote in the Senate, the bill passed a vote in the house, and also passed six committees, two readings and one reconsideration.
The bill was originally introduced by Representative Gail Griffin following a standing room only town hall she attended in Sonoita to hear concerns of the residents regarding the county. She repeatedly defended the bill to her colleagues by stating that area residents are unhappy over several issues, including the abolishment of the justice of the peace court,
increasing taxes, poor roads and not being able to communicate with county officials.
State Senator Andrea Dalessandro (D) representing Santa Cruz County called the vote for the study committee “anti-Republican ranchers and anti-produce industry”. She also stated
the whole premise is a bad idea – especially for those residents who would remain in what is left of Santa Cruz County. She also added, “The remaining ranchers in the rest of the county, who are mostly Republicans, will be paying more property tax.” She labeled
those who support the split as, “some misinformed people down there who I