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Size matters

The painful second regular session of the 56th Arizona Legislature ended Sine Die late Saturday night.

It was the culmination of three long days of highly charged floor sessions as a poor quality budget was introduced and passed. Few people are happy with the cuts to be made to state agencies and as predicted education on all levels will be affected.

More on the budget in a future blog when its oddities can be better explained.

This week in addition to last minute votes on bills stagnating for weeks were five ballot referrals. They will join eight others to make a total of thirteen legislative referrals on our November ballot. The ballot questions could be joined by those citizens’ initiatives which gather enough signatures to qualify for inclusion on our ballots. The number of ballot referrals alone will necessitate a longer than usual ballot creating headaches for creating a ballot and ballot fatigue for voters.

The five ballot referrals passed this week are:

SCR1044 Allows Justices of the Supreme, Appellate and Superior Courts to hold office indefinitely as opposed to the present practice of voter revue and retention votes. The measure has a retroactive clause. Judges voted out in the 2024 election would still be retained because of the new measure.

SCR1041 Changes rules for filing a constitutional challenge to a ballot measure. Current law allows challenges only after a measure is adopted. New ruling would prevent a measure from appearing on the ballot.

SCR1040  Allows employers to pay up to 25% less than the minimum wage if employees” tips garner them a paycheck equal to at least the equivalent of the minimum wage plus $2.

SCR1012  Bans Arizona state agencies from creating rules that increase regulatory costs. It gives power to the legislature to propose a law to cover the increase, taking out checks and balances.

HCR2023  Allows property owners to apply for a tax refund for expenses occurred if their taxing jurisdiction declined to enforce existing laws on maintaining a public nuisance.  (aimed at forcing cities, towns, counties to crack down on homelessness)


Please check back to the legislative blog as a detailed budget recap will be posted and a run down of how LD3 lawmakers’ bills fared this session.

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