House Panel Wants Voters To Reauthorize Ballot Measures

February 04, 2014

An Arizona House committee Tuesday passed a resolution that could force voters to reapprove ballot referenda and initiatives every eight years, if they require the state to spend money. If the resolution passes the full legislature, the question will go to voters this fall. Reapproving ballot measures is not a new idea. This year, the resolution has been amended so it only applies to measures passed from this year forward, but Rep. Carl Seel wishes it also applied retroactively.

"Many of the structural challenges we have in our current budget that are driving a structural deficit of upwards of $350 million right now are in large part due to initiatives that, maybe at the time they were contemplated, people didn't realize the burden it was going to put the state under," Seel said.

The committee's chairman said he agrees with Seel and sees this as a first step. Environmental lobbyist Sandy Bahr opposes the resolution and said it is a roadblock for voters, who will not want to advocate for a cause every eight years.