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Brewer signs spam bill, school performance plan

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Thursday, Governor Jan Brewer signed the ban on spam text messages, the bill creating school performance plans, and the bill increasing campaign finance limits. She vetoed a bill that forced charter schools to accept disabled kids.

Spam text messages

Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill banning marketers from sending unsolicited text messages to cellphones.
House Bill 2312 was sponsored by Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth and targets marketers that flood recipients' phones with offers. That forces phone users to essentially pay to receive ads.
The bill passed the Senate Wednesday on a 27-0 vote. The House also passed the bill unanimously in a vote last month.
The original bill was amended to allow texts from companies with a business relationship to the phone's owner after phone companies that use the practice complained.
The Republican-controlled Senate turned away a Democratic proposal to include a ban on texting while driving during a contentious debate last week.

School performance plan

Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill setting up a pilot project that ties funding to performance for a handful of school districts and charter schools.
But the governor said in a letter announcing Thursday's the signing of Senate Bill 1293 that she wants much more than the four-year pilot project with five districts and five charters included in Sen. Chester Crandell's bill.
Brewer instead urged the Legislature to take up and pass her proposal that a small percentage of all school funding be tied to performance.
The governor has proposed spending $54 million for performance funding in the coming school year. That money would go to schools that score well on an accountability scale or show improvements.
Low performing schools could lose funding under Brewer's plan.

Campaign finance limits

Gov. Jan Brewer has passed a law that wildly increases campaign finance limits and undermines the state's public financing program.
Brewer signed into law Thursday House Bill 2593 only two days after the Arizona Senate voted 17-13 to send it to her for passage.
Democrats criticized the measure because it would make it difficult for any candidate to successfully run with public campaign funding.
State, legislative and other candidates now can raise thousands of dollars more each election. For example, the measure increased the limit for legislative candidates from $488 through the primary and general elections to nearly $2,500 from individual donors during the primary and the general election.
The law is one of several efforts to allow more money into state elections being pushed by Republicans nationwide.

Charter schools and kids with disabilities

Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have allowed charter schools to enroll some disabled pre-school students because the Legislature didn't include funding for the students.
The letter accompanying Brewer's Thursday evening veto of HB 2054 says she can't sign bills impacting spending while budget negotiations are ongoing. That's a sign she may veto other bills that either trim taxes or add spending until a budget deal is reached.
The vetoed bill would have allowed charters to accept disabled students between 3 years and kindergarten age into special programs and required the state Board of Education to give them some special federal funding.
However, Brewer noted the Legislature failed to include language providing full funding for the students. Her letter said she's willing to consider the issue later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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