FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2023
PHOENIX – House Democratic Leader Andrés Cano issued the following statement today after Democratic members with bills ready for a floor vote were told they must obtain signatures from at least 16 of 31 Republican members in order for their bills to get a full vote. In protest, Democrats voted no on all bills moving through the chamber throughout the afternoon.
"Democrats in this Chamber have had enough. Today a number of our bills cleared Committee of the Whole debate -- meaning they should be put on the board of truth to see if they have support from a majority of this body – but now we find that the goal posts have been moved yet again.
Our members did the hard work, getting stakeholders on board, gaining bi-partisan support to get these bills through committee. But apparently, a new and completely arbitrary rule has been imposed upon Democratic members.
That rule, which is written nowhere because it's completely antithetical to representative government, is that our members must get at least 16 Republican signatures on one of these green sheets – a majority of the majority – or else their bill will not be on third read.
That means if all 29 members of our caucus support one of our colleague's bills, but only 15 of 31 Republicans like the idea, then it's dead. A bill with a literal Super Majority plus four extra votes, will not move out of this chamber!
For example, one of the bills debated today has our full caucus support plus 12 Republican signatures. Over and over, this member was told by Republican on this floor 'I'll be the 16th signature, come to me when you have 15 signatures.'
That is wrong. That is not the process. Any bi partisan Democratic idea, no matter how valid, no matter how important to the future of our state, can be stopped because in this chamber the tail wags the dog.
We will not be taken for granted. Until this process is once again deliberative and representative, I vote no."