Not All Arizona Lawmakers In Favor Of Repealing Legislative Immunity

By Kathy Ritchie
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 9:20am
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 11:50am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s effort to repeal the legislative immunity provision in the state constitution is getting a chilly reception from some lawmakers.

Some legislators, including Republican Sen. John Kavanagh, are not convinced the protections should go away, despite the fact that Ducey wants lawmakers to put the issue on the 2020 ballot. Kavanagh also says there’s a reason the framers of the Arizona Constitution included the provision in the first place.

"I'm told, because I wasn't around when they passed this, that this is because there were situations where sheriffs or police in some counties attempted to prevent legislators from going to the Capitol by arresting them so they couldn't vote," said Kavanagh.

Republicans aren’t the only lawmakers concerned about repealing the provision.

Democratic Rep. Lela Alston says there’s good reason for it, saying there could be “mischief” by those trying to keep lawmakers from doing their job.

Both Republicans and Democrats have used this privilege over the years.

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