Miner Editorial | State Legislature wants to keep the people quiet
The past 107 years of Arizona history have included initiatives, referendums and recalls. These mechanisms of government by the people were and still are part of Arizona’s constitution since it became a state in 1912.
There is a set of people in Arizona who want to whittle away these rights from the state’s citizens.
They are the people who have been elected to protect the citizens and ensure their rights are shielded from deterioration. This set of people sit in the seats at the state Legislature, and The Daily Miner Editorial Board believes it is important to know what they are trying to orchestrate.
The state Legislature in 2017 passed a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey that made it harder for voters to get their measures on the ballot. This law made it more difficult by forcing all initiatives into “strict compliance” after previous court decisions held that “substantial compliance” was sufficient.
Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, and state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, both voted in favor of making it harder for citizens to get their measures on the ballot.
There is a bill currently making its way through the Legislature that was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which if it makes it into law will allow one legislative district to undermine all initiatives and keep them from the ballot.
SCR 1023 would change the number of signatures needed from a statewide collection to a district-by-district collection. For a measure that makes a new law to reach the ballot, the signature threshold is 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. For constitutional measures, it is 15 percent.
The new law would apply these signature percentage requirements to each district. If 29 districts meet the threshold, but one fails to do so, the measure would not appear on the ballot.
It is important to note that Sen. Borrelli is a sponsor of this legislation.
The Daily Miner Editorial Board believes this current legislation, and other bills like it, is a power grab by the Legislature and lobbyists who visit with them.
The voice of the people is under attack. It is imperative our representatives Cobb, Borrelli and Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, vote in our favor and not in the favor of lobbyists that want to keep the people’s voice quiet.
Sen. Borrelli can be reached at 602-926-5051 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rep. Cobb can be reached at 602-926-3126 or email@example.com, and Rep. Biasiucci can reached at 602-926-3018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.