Wednesday, November 25, 2020 9:01 pm

Legislature working to place more requirements on ballot measures citizens may sponsor

Rep. Mark Finchem talks during a meeting of District 11 legislators and Maricopa city officials on Nov.12 in Maricopa/.Howard Waggner/PinalCentral (2019)

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral

Calling it rural protection, the state House voted Wednesday to impose an additional hurdle on those who want to propose their own changes in state law or the Arizona Constitution.

The proposal by Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, would spell out that signatures on initiative petitions must be gathered in each of the state’s 30 legislative districts. More to the point, one-thirtieth of the mandatory total would need to come from each district.

Finchem said the problem now is that those proposing initiatives can gather all the necessary signatures in a single county, or even in a single district. He said that favors those individuals and groups who do not have broad support — and broad organizations — but instead can simply “hire paid circulators to stand outside of football stadiums and car lots and grocery stores to gather signatures.”

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