Updated at: 01/31/2013 1:37 PM
By BOB CHRISTIE
(AP) PHOENIX - Republican proposals to ban state enforcement of federal gun laws, require hospitals to check citizenship of patients and require high school graduates to recite loyalty oaths are drawing attention in the Arizona legislature.
That’s despite promises from top leaders in the GOP-controlled House and Senate to instead spend their time on budgets, sales tax reform and education.
Republican Senate President Andy Biggs calls bills pushed by tea party conservatives "esoteric" while leading Democrats criticize them as unconstitutional.
It’s too early to know if the bills will gain traction. But they are distractions for lawmakers and come as Republicans nationally are trying to rebrand the party.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is calling for fellow Republicans to "stop being the stupid party" and focus on issues that matter to more Americans.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)