Voter Rights are under siege in the Arizona Legislature. Last Thursday night, the House passed a package of bills that would make sweeping changes to the Arizona Constitution’s initiative process.
THESE BILLS HAVE PASSED THE HOUSE and are assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they are not yet on the committee agenda.
• HCR2002: Asks voters to repeal Proposition 105, a citizen-initiated measure that voters approved in 1998 and is commonly known as the Voter Protection Act.
• HCR2007: Would exempt citizen referenda from the Voter Protection Act. That means if voters decided to overturn a law passed by the Legislature, lawmakers could go back and pass the same law, something the Voter Protection Act currently prohibits.
• HB2320: Require a notice on the ballot, fundraising material and advertising related to initiatives that they can only be changed in the future by a three-quarters vote in the Legislature and if the change furthers the purpose of the original ballot measure.
• HB2404: Throws up potentially insurmountable barriers to signature-gathering by requiring petition circulators to post a bond of up to $50,000, requiring background checks on signature gatherers, and making them take classes and certify they understand state law on initiatives.
• HCR2029: Requires signature collectors to get 10% of their signatures from each of the 30 legislative districts, 15% for a constitutional amendment. Effectively gives any one legislative district veto powers over the rest. Would almost certainly end citizen initiatives in Arizona.
Here’s some background: