3 significant initiatives sought for November ballot

Up for voter approval is a measure designed to put an end to “dark money’’ in political races.

By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services 

Arizona voters are likely to get a chance to vote in November to bring an end to political commercials by anonymous special interest groups, reverse changes in election laws approved by Republican legislators and provide new protections for themselves against medical and other debt.

Backers of three separate measures each turned in more than the minimum 237,645 valid signatures needed to put the issues to voters.

State officials now have 20 days, exclusive of weekends and holidays, to do their initial processing of petition sheets, with counties then having another 15 business days to review a random sample of signatures to determine what percentage are qualified. And each is likely to face legal challenges from foes.

But each, if approved, would make immediate and visible changes in Arizona.

Backers of an initiative to make changes in bankruptcy and other laws turned in about 472,000 signatures Thursday to put a series of changes in state law on the November ballot.

The measure, if approved, would increase the amount of equity someone could have in a home to keep it from being seized in bankruptcy to $400,000, up from $250,000. And it would mandate annual cost-of-living increases in that figure rather than having to wait for state lawmakers to marshal the votes for future changes.

Current law also allows individuals to keep up to $6,000 in household furniture, appliances and consumer electronics. That would increase to $15,000, also with inflation adjustments.

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