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Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:01 am | Updated: 3:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The days of being able to evade photo radar and red-light cameras may be drawing to a close.

PHOTO RADAR

The days of being able to evade photo radar and red-light cameras may be drawing to a close.

On a voice vote, the Senate on Thursday adopted language thatwhich would make it illegal to put any sort of cover on a license plate designed to make it more difficult for it to be read. Sen. Ken Cheuvront, D-Phoenix, said the covers have only one purpose: to help people evade the law by making their plates invisible to cameras.

Sen. Linda Gray, R-Glendale, supported the change. She said the covers also "hide'' license plates from the automated readers mounted on some police cars which are designed to look for stolen vehicles.

SB1018 requires a final roll-call vote before going to the House.

ELECTION FINANCING

Voters may get a chance in November to decide if they want to keep the system of public funding of candidates.

SCR1009 would constitutionally prohibit taxpayer money from being used in campaigns. That effectively would kill the system approved by voters in 1998 that allows -- but does not require -- candidates for statewide and legislative office to get public money if they don't take cash from other sources.

Most of the funding comes from a 10 percent surcharge on civil, criminal and traffic fines.

Business interests, unable to kill the 1998 plan, have been trying to kill it ever since. Thursday's preliminary Senate vote paves the way for a roll call and, if approved, sends the measure to the House.

TOHONO CASINO

The state House gave preliminary approval Thursday to legislation designed to block the Tohono O'odham Nation from building a casino on property it acquired on the edge of Glendale.

HB2297 would allow Glendale to annex the 135-acre site without the tribe's permission. That would kill the effort to have the U.S. Department of Interior declare the land part of the reservation, as federal law permits that to happen only if acquired property is in an unincorporated area.

And without reservation status, the tribe cannot legally construct a casino on the site.

Rep. Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale, said he believes the tribe's move violates at least the spirit of a 2002 voter-approved initiative that gave tribes the exclusive right to operate casinos in exchange for sharing profits with the state. He said that measure required the casinos to go only where the reservations were located at the time.

But Rep. Chris Deschene, D-Window Rock, said Congress approved a law allowing the tribe to purchase new property to expand the reservation after the federal government took nearly 10,000 acres following construction of a dam.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

Without debate, the Senate on Thursday agreed to ask voters to rename the post of "secretary of state'' to "lieutenant governor.''

Supporters of SCR1013 said the move would give voters a better idea that the person elected to this position is first in line of succession if a governor quits, dies or is thrown out of office. That has happened five times since Arizona became a state, including just last year when Janet Napolitano resigned to take a job in the Obama administration.

The change, which goes to the House after a final Senate vote, would have to be ratified by voters in November.

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