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Republican Sponsored Bill Could Make It Harder To Submit Citizen Initiatives
Arizona small businesses impacted by the voter-approved minimum wage hike are supporting a bill that could kill citizen initiated laws in the future.
In a nutshell, HB 2404 would toughen requirements for placing a citizen’s idea on a ballot. At the same time, it would clear a pathway for opponents to kill that citizen’s initiative before it gets that far.
The main barrier outlaws hiring petitioners who are paid per signature to help collect the nearly 200,000 names needed to place a citizen’s idea on a ballot.
Doris Provine with the Arizona Advocacy Network calls the changes “onerous.”
"This bill is killing the initiative process by small cuts,” she told members of the House Government Committee on Thursday. “I believe it, because of that, goes against the original intent of founders of this state.”
“This, in no way, is designed to limit initiatives that are coming from grass roots,” said the bill’s author, Representative Vince Leach.
Committee Democrats asked why the bill places tighter restrictions on citizens collecting signatures to put an idea on the ballot, but does not require the same of candidates collecting signatures to run for office.
Leach said it is harder to remove a bad law from the state constitution than it is for voters to remove a bad lawmaker.
The measure was approved on a party-line vote of 5-3 and sent to the full House.