Gov. Acts On 3 Controversial Bills
Abortion, Fireworks, Guns In Bars Receive Brewer's Attention
POSTED: 5:47 pm MST July 13, 2009
PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer acted Monday on three controversial bills dealing with abortion, fireworks and guns in bars.
Arizonans with concealed weapons permits will be able to take a handgun into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
The bill she signed into law would require bar and restaurant owners who want to ban weapons to post a sign next to their liquor license. Drinking while carrying a weapon would be illegal.
Before a compromise reached late in the session, the measure pitted powerful groups representing gun and bar owners against each other.
Opponents have said mixing guns and alcohol could cause violence, but supporters said people should be able to protect themselves at businesses that serve alcohol.
The bill originally only applied to establishments with kitchens. It was expanded to include bars.Gov. OKs Abortion Constraints
Brewer has reversed her predecessor's approach toward abortion bills and signed a measure imposing an array of new restrictions.
The restrictions in the bill signed Monday include a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion after a visit to the abortion provider. That visit would have to include state-scripted disclosures by doctors about risks and alternatives.
Also, an existing law on parental approval for minors seeking to end pregnancies would be toughened. In addition, pharmacists and other health care providers will be able to refuse to hand out emergency contraception on moral or religious grounds.
Former Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, had vetoed all bills sent to her that restricted abortion rights.Legalized Sparklers Snuffed Out
Brewer is citing safety concerns for her veto of a bill that would have legalized the sale and use of sparklers and some other fireworks.
The bill vetoed Monday would have legalized sparklers and fountain fireworks that shoot sparks into the air. It would not have legalized fireworks that explode or shoot themselves up into the air.
Brewer's veto follows the lead of two previous Republican governors who expressed health and safety concerns when they vetoed bills in the 1990s.
Supporters of the industry-backed bill had said the types of fireworks that would be legalized are safe and don't need government regulation.
Fire officials said fireworks would pose a safety hazard.