How Arizona’s Republican lawmakers are using you to get around Gov. Katie Hobbs

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Opinion: Republican state lawmakers are referring bills to the ballot to thwart Democrats and go around Gov. Katie Hobbs. Don’t fall for it.

Sending multiple measures to voters can get confusing, increasing the chances that utterly flawed measures pass.

By Nelson Morgan, opinion contributor || The Arizona Republic

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There is a particular tactic that the Republicans in the Legislature are using to get around our new Democratic governor and her veto stamp.

It’s a completely legal and often-used approach. But it looms particularly large this year, given the current standoff.

The tactic is this: The legislative majority proposes measures to appear on the ballot. These only require agreement by the two chambers, and no signature from the governor.

Lawmakers want you to vote on these bills

While this often happens, this year there are a lot of them.

And they are filled with provisions that would never be signed by our governor if passed as ordinary bills. Provisions such as:

Changing the citizen’s initiative and referendum processes so that the signature percentage requirements apply to every legislative district. Essentially this would give every district, even those that were ultra-red or ultra-blue, a veto over what even a vast majority of the state’s population wants. The legislative majority is essentially trying to remove citizens’ ability to legislate (Senate Concurrent Resolution 1015). 

Cutting the state income tax rates for any year following one in which there is a budget surplus. Since tax cuts are essentially one-way in Arizona (requiring a two-thirds super-majority in both chambers to reverse), this would mean that revenues would be drastically cut for the foreseeable future (SCR 1035).

This one is a real beauty – it would eliminate early voting and excuse-free voting by mail. For years more than 80% of Arizona voters have used these options, and the claims of greater fraud from them have been debunked over and over again, including in the recently released AG’s report into the 2020 presidential election (House Concurrent Resolution 2040). 

If it’s DOA, why send it to the ballot?


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March 2023