Senate approves bill tightening laws for citizen initiatives


Arizona Senate Building / Wikimedia Commons

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

State senators voted 16-14 Wednesday to require judges to void citizen-backed initiatives if they are not in “strict compliance” with every requirement of Arizona election law.

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HB 2244, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate with only one GOP lawmaker dissenting, would scrap existing laws and long-standing court rulings which say that groups seeking to create statutes at the ballot box need only “substantial compliance” with the law. That has been based on findings by judges that the intent of circulators and signers was clear and that voters were not deceived.

Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Glendale, said the changes will make it more difficult for groups to get their questions before voters.

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