Biologists looking for endangered species on private property would be required to keep much of what they find secret under a proposal poised for quick approval by the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature.
Minority Democrats have unsuccessfully argued that if the new policy becomes law it will hinder public monitoring of recovery plans for endangered plants and animals. Republicans say the shield is needed to protect private property rights. The measure passed the House Wednesday on a 31-29 party-line vote, and the Senate gave it initial approval after debate Thursday afternoon with Democrats objecting. A formal Senate vote expected next week could send the measure to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's desk.