Tempers flare in House as committees hear controversial bills

By Nathan Brown | Arizona Capitol Times  

Long-simmering tensions boiled over in the House as Democratic lawmakers and opponents of GOP-sponsored bills to tighten voting rules and let businesses avoid Proposition 208’s surcharge accused Republican committee chairman of trying to silence them.

Critics slammed this as part of a larger, years-long pattern of the Republican majority disrespecting and trying to silence members of the public, particularly women and people of color, who come to the Legislature to oppose their proposals.

 At a news conference on Thursday Francisca Gil, with Our Voice Our Vote Arizona, talked about waiting almost seven hours to testify against a voting bill in 2020 and not being allowed to speak. Gil called their tactics “evil” and said things have gotten worse this year, suggesting this is connected to Republican losses in the last election, which saw President Biden narrowly carry the state and the election of a second Democratic U.S. senator.

“If they are not listening to Arizonans, who are they listening to?” she asked. “If they are not listening to the well being of Arizona they should not be holding seats in the Arizona Legislature.”

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