Arizona governor signs bill to authorize state guard

PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill authorizing creation of a state guard.

That's a militia force that could be mobilized if the National Guard is unavailable or "for any reason" considered necessary by the governor.

Spokesman Matt Benson did not immediately return a call for comment on whether Brewer plans to create the force.

The bill signed Thursday would authorize an Arizona governor to establish the state guard to protect lives and property. Under the bill, the governor could do that if the National Guard is mobilized for federal duty or "for any reason the governor considers to be necessary."

The Arizona Constitution authorizes a militia, and current state law specifies that the militia consists of the National Guard, the Arizona state guard "when organized" and the "unorganized militia."