During this legislative session there has been a barrage of attacks on the citizen initiative process. Republicans' unyielding efforts to limit the voice of the people are alarming. A piece in the Arizona Republic has dubbed this onslaught "Operation Silence our Citizens."
The bills now in the Legislature are an affront to will of the people; they look like an attempt to wrestle power from Arizonans – maybe as retribution for using the initiative process to increase the minimum wage?
After the governor signed a bill that will drastically increase the cost of citizen initiatives, Republicans used a procedural maneuver to slide new restrictions on the initiative process in before the legislative session ends. They have completely changed the language in two bills to include more obstacles for anyone trying to get an initiative on the ballot in this state. The amended versions of HB 2244 and SB 1236 threaten Arizonans' ability to undo bad laws the Legislature passes.
The initiative process is about accountability. It is supposed to ensure Arizonans can take action if the Legislature is not being responsive, or if it passes onerous laws. This process is a guaranteed constitutional right. A recent Public Policy Polling survey reported that an overwhelming majority of Arizona voters support the citizen initiative process, regardless of party affiliation.
House Democrats are going to keep fighting against bills that infringe on the rights of residents. Our democracy is stronger when citizens are active and engaged. Together we will continue to work for a better Arizona. Click here to find ways to make sure your voice is heard.