ACT NOW to Stop Attack on Citizen Initiatives!
There are several bills moving through the Arizona Legislature aimed at weakening or dismantling our citizen initiative process. These measures are close to floor votes, so please contact your legislators today!
Arizona’s citizen initiative process is our most important tool for protecting animals. Over decades, volunteers like you from ADLA and other groups participated in grassroots citizen initiative campaigns that resulted in banning indiscriminate traps and poisons on public land, criminalizing cockfighting, and prohibiting the inhumane confinement of farm animals. We know from personal experience how difficult it is to get measures on the ballot.
The Legislature has already passed laws that have severely damaged our citizen initiative process. These bills would create additional unnecessary and insurmountable hurdle for grassroots groups running campaigns with lots of volunteers and a shoe-string budget.
What You Can Do
Please contact your state senator and two representatives and ask them to oppose the following measures. Be sure to mention that you are a resident in their legislative district.
Ask your state senator to oppose HCR2001, HCR2016, and HB2309. You can reach all senate members here.
HCR2001 (initiatives; single subject; title) refers to the ballot a measure that which requires citizen initiatives to conform to a single subject. It voids any subject included in an initiative that is not expressed in the title of the measure. This would ensure that only the narrowest of subjects could be placed on the ballot. The Arizona Supreme Court has already rejected that proposal in 2017, ruling that constitutional provisions that limit legislation to a single subject do not
apply when the proposal comes from voters. Awaits action in the Senate Committee of the Whole.
HCR2016 (initiatives; supermajority vote requirement) refers to the ballot a measure increases the percentage of votes required for an initiative or referendum to be approved by voters from a simple majority to 55 percent of votes cast in an election. This measure would create an extremely difficult threshold to meet, especially for grassroots citizen initiative campaigns. Awaits action on Senate Committee of the Whole.
HB2309 (violent; disorderly assembly; public order) is not related to initiative rights but would discourage citizens from attending peaceful protests like those involving animal protection issues. Under the bill, police have discretion to determine when a protest becomes an “unlawful assembly.” The combination of overly broad language and felony penalties will discourage citizens from exercising their First Amendment-protected protest rights for fear of being charged with a crime for the actions of others.
Ask your two House members to oppose SB1531 and SCR1024. You can reach all representatives here.
SB1531 (petition signatures; description; invalidity) requires an initiative or referendum petition circulator to either read the initiative or referendum description aloud to every person signing or allow the person ‘sufficient time’ to read the description before signing. The bill tosses out the signature of any petition signer that signs the initiative or referendum petition without either hearing or reading the
description. But the bill language does not define what is ‘sufficient time’ to read the description. And if the signer has already read the description, are they forced to prove that in order to prevent their signature from being tossed out? Awaits action in the House Committee of the Whole.
SCR1024 (initiatives; tax increases; vote requirement) refers to the ballot a requirement that initiatives and referenda that include taxes have a two-thirds vote from voters. This is an extremely high bar for these ballot measures. Awaits action in the House Committee of the Whole.
SCR1034 (voter protection act; court determinations) refers to the ballot a measure to allow the Legislature to amend, supersede or appropriate or divert funds created by an initiative or referendum measure approved by the voters if the measure is found to contain any illegal or unconstitutional language by the Arizona or US Supreme Court. This would allow the legislature to throw out an entire measure, even if a small part was successfully challenged and would blow a big hole in the Voter Protection Act. Read the press release on SCR1034.
Thanks for your help in protecting Arizona’s animals!