By Jim Gold, msnbc.com
Arizona lawmakers appear close to sending to Gov. Jan Brewer a tea party-backed bill that proponents say would stop a United Nations takeover conspiracy but that critics claim could end state and citiesâ€™ pollution-fighting efforts and even dismantle the state unemployment office.
A final legislative vote is expected Monday on a bill that would outlaw government support of any of the 27 principles contained inÂ the 1992 United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, also sometimes referred to as Agenda 21.
Senate Bill 1507Â was passed by the state Senate last month and received an initial House affirmation Wednesday. It is sponsored by state Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, who also sponsored aÂ state birther bill that Brewer vetoed lastÂ year.
“The bill is designed to protect the rights of Arizona citizens and prevent encroachment on those rights by international institutions,” Burges told msnbc.com in an email.Â “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.Â It is that simple — no more, no less.”
At a March 15 hearing on the bill, Burges said an executive order signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993 started the implementation of Agenda 21 after the Senate refused to pass a treaty ratifying it.
“Any way you want to describe it,Â Agenda 21 is a direct attack on the middle class and working poor” through “social engineering of our citizens” in “every aspect” of theirÂ lives,” she told the hearing.
But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, has a different view.
â€œItâ€™s the most poorly crafted bill in this state,â€ Campbell told msnbc.com. â€œItâ€™s so broad and overreaching, weâ€™re not sure what it could impact.â€
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