New Bill Would Require Citizen Initiatives Be In 'Strict Compliance' With Arizona Election Law

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 7:21am

State judges could soon be required to nullify citizen-backed initiatives if they’re not in "strict compliance'' with Arizona election law.

House Bill 2244, approved by the Senate Wednesday, would scrap existing laws and long-standing court rulings saying people need only "substantial compliance'' with the law.

Republican Senator Sylvia Allen said it’s important to enact stricter standards.

"There is no way now to protect the people if there is unseen consequences in initiatives that are passed," Allen said.

She said some of those consequences can’t be fixed, like those affecting small-business owners following the minimum-wage increase.

However, Democratic Senator Martin Quezada said the changes will make it more difficult for groups to get their questions before voters. He said technical violations will void otherwise legitimate petitions.

The measure, approved by a 16-14 vote, now goes to the House.

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