Submitted by Karen Michael on 02/25/2017 - 10:33am
We are sorry to report that the Arizona House of Representatives passed four of the bills aimed at weakening citizen initiatives and referenda. ADLA volunteers were in the House gallery late Thursday night when legislators passed HCR 2002, HCR 2007, HB 2320, and HB 2404 by a party line vote late. HB 2404 was amended to remove the most damaging language, but remains a concern. You can watch Rep Engel speak in opposition to amended HB 2404 before the AZ House vote here.
One of the most damaging bills, HCR 2009 (requiring ballot measure signatures from all districts) stalled in the House but may return. Also, HB 2255 (prohibiting out-of-state funding) is likely dead.
The four bills that passed the House will now advance to the Senate. If passed by the Legislature, HCR 2002 and HCR 2007 would be referred to the 2018 ballot for voter approval. However, HB 2320 and HB 2404, as statutory measures, would only require the governor's signature to become law, which makes them especially dangerous.
Thanks to everyone who contacted their representatives on these bills. Also thanks to the hundreds of citizens that attended bill hearings. In committees where anti-initiative measures were placed near the end of the agenda, people waited hours for the chance to speak and then were limited to only one minute. Read Laurie Roberts' piece: Attn Legislature: stop gagging citizens.
In the House Appropriations Committee, citizens waited for ten hours until HCR 2029 was finally heard late that night. The chairman allowed only two people to comment on the bill, and then gave them only two minutes to speak. A teacher that spoke for the first time in committee was treated rudely by some legislators. Fortunately Rep Ken Clark and others spoke out eloquently against the bill. You can watch the committee hearing here.
Thanks to all the legislators that spoke out against these measures in hearings and on the House floor. You can watch Rep Clark speak against HCR 2002 here, and watch Rep Blanc speak against HCR 2007 here.
We will continue to provide updates bills targeting citizen initiatives and how you can help defeat them. For more information on these measures click here. If you have questions, comments, or need help finding your legislative district, please email email@example.com.