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LWVAZ Announces Decisions on Ballot Measures and Upcoming Legislative Priorities

Kate Stewart  | Published on 8/15/2021

Advocacy and Legislative Priorities for 2021-2022

 

The LWV Arizona State board adopted the following legislative priorities for advocacy and action for the 2021-2022 board term and the 2022 Arizona legislative session. (Adopted at board meeting August 10, 2021)

 

Tier 1:  Voter rights/ Election Security and Integrity; Criminal Justice Reform; Climate Change & Environment

Tier 2:  Women's Rights & Equity; Education

Tier 3: Health Care; Gun Safety; Immigration; Redistricting

 

Although we will focus our energies on the Tier 1 priorities, we will respond accordingly if legislation important to our Tier 2 and 3 priorities is introduced.

 

Tier 1:  Expect to see a lot of legislative and policy activities during the 2022 legislative session

Tier 2:  Expect to see some

Tier 3:  Don’t expect  to see much legislation on these issues during the 2022 legislative session

 


Signature Gathering for Citizens’ Ballot Measures: Referendums and Initiatives filed as of August 14, 2021

 

LWVAZ guidance for signature collection for petitions. Members acting on behalf of the League can only gather signatures for measures that the League supports. Adhering to our positions allows us to speak clearly, with one voice, based on well-studied policy positions.  Members may not identify themselves and act on the league’s behalf to gather signatures for petitions the League does not support or for which it does not have a position.

 

Ballot measures are proposals to enact new laws or constitutional amendments or repeal existing laws or constitutional amendments that are placed on the ballot for approval or rejection by the electorate. There are several different kinds of ballot measures:

 

An initiative is a proposal of a new law or constitutional amendment that is placed on the ballot by petition, that is, by collecting signatures of a certain number of citizens. In most cases, once a sufficient number of signatures has been collected, the proposal is placed on the ballot for a vote of the people ("direct initiative").

 

A referendum (sometimes "popular referendum") is a proposal to repeal a law that was previously enacted by the legislature, and that is placed on the ballot by citizen petition.

 

The 2022 election will likely include ballot measures covering issues important to league members. Whether these measures appear on the ballot will depend, in part, on gaining enough petition signatures within a limited time. We are providing guidance on our (LWVAZ) positions for several current petitions.  If any qualify for the ballot, we will provide further detailed guidance before the 2022 election.

 

The LWVAZ board considered whether to support the following petitions based on a careful review of state and national League Public Policy Positions. Below are the referendums,  initiatives for which LWVAZ took action at the board meeting on August 14, 2021.


 

Referendums

Arizona voters can stop a recently enacted law from going into effect by “referring” the law to voters in the next general election.  If enough valid petition signatures (118,823) are collected within 90 days of the law’s signature by the Governor (by September 28, 2021), and the period for legal challenges is passed. In that case, the measure is placed on the ballot. 

 

  

LWV Arizona SUPPORTS AND ENDORSES the following referendum petitions:

 

SB1827 Budget Reconciliation (Section 4) Sponsor: Invest In Arizona

 

  • "This petition seeks to refer Section 4 of 2021 Laws, Chapter 411 (SB 1827). Section 4 creates a maximum combined individual income tax rate of 4.5%, inclusive of the regular income tax imposed by A.R.S. § 43-1011 and the 3.5% income tax surcharge imposed by A.R.S. § 43-1013 (which was approved by Arizona voters in 2020 as Proposition 208). If a taxpayer's total tax rate exceeds 4.5%, the regular income tax rate imposed by A.R.S. § 43-1011 would be automatically reduced to cap the taxpayer's total tax rate at 4.5%." [Official petition language]

     

  • Advocacy Analysis: This referendum will stop the legislative attempt to thwart the will of the voters who passed Proposition 208 in 2020 to fund education through income tax surcharges. The League supported Proposition 208. Our support for this referendum is founded on LWVAZ position on Public Education Funding.

  • Outcome: If the voters approve the referendum, the new tax rates in section 4 of Chapter 411 (SB1827) WILL NOT go into effect

SB1819 Budget Reconciliation (sections 4,5,21,25,33) Sponsor: Arizona Deserves Better

  • Promotes a list of ten ballot fraud countermeasures, including bar and QR codes; those codes could violate the ballot secrecy guarantee of the Arizona Constitution. Gives an outside group access to the voter registration database. Limits the secretary of state's authority to defend state election laws and gives authority to the attorney general. Some limits only apply during the term of the current secretary of state. Requires Game and Fish to assist with voter registration. Spends $500,000 to investigate social media. Requires detailed monitoring of county voter registration efforts. Signing this petition will help put parts of SB 1819 on the 2022 ballot." [Official petition language]

     

    Advocacy Analysis: We have testified against some of the bills that ultimately failed in the legislature.  The language from these failed bills was then included in the budget reconciliation referendum.  LWV opposes every provision in the budget reconciliation bill that suppresses and subverts the ability to vote.  Our support for this referendum is founded on our position on Voting Rights and Election Administration.

     

  • Outcome: If the voters approve the referendum sections 4,5,21,25,33 of SB1819 covering ballot fraud countermeasures WILL NOT go into effect.

SB1485 Section 16-544 - Active Early Voting List
Campaign title: Protect the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) Sponsor: Arizona Deserves Better

  • "This petition seeks to refer SB1485 to the ballot for a vote. This bill substantially changes the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), now used by most Arizonans to vote. It renames the list and purges it periodically. Government notices would be sent to people based on their frequency of early voting. People who are mailed notices would be required to respond to stay on the list. If enough people sign this petition, the people of Arizona will be able to vote to prevent this bill from becoming law and keep the Permanent Early Voting List. " [Official petition language]
  • Advocacy Analysis: We opposed this bill strongly and testified numerous times against changing the widely used and popular PEVL (Permanent Early Voting List).Our support for this referendum is founded in the LWVAZ position on making voting accessible by mail for all voters.

     

  • Outcome: If the voters approve the referendum, the change in PEVL, including penalizing people who don’t regularly vote by mail in section 16-544 of SB1485 WILL NOT go into effect.

 



LWV Arizona OPPOSES the following referendum petition

 

HB2569 - Elections Administration Private Monies Prohibited
Campaign Title: Protect Election Funding Sponsor: Arizona Deserves Better

  • Overview: "This petition seeks to refer HB 2569 to the ballot for a vote. HB 2569 stops elections officials from receiving private grants to help them run elections or register voters, even if the Legislature provides inadequate funding for elections administration and voter registration. Election officials have used grant funds to purchase equipment used to provide timely and accurate election results. If enough people sign this petition, the voters will decide whether election officials should be allowed to accept private grants. " [Official petition language]
  • Advocacy Analysis: The league strongly supports public funding of elections, including the CARES Act money and other federal or other government funds. However, we strongly oppose dark money in campaigns. If private money is allowed, anyone, regardless of motive or intent, can contribute without disclosing their identity or the source of the money.County officials are elected. Regardless of good intentions, in today’s polarized partisan environment, allowing the use of private funds contradicts our strong position against money in politics.
  • Outcome: If the voters approve the referendum, HB2569 WILL NOT go into effect, thus allowing the use of private grants to help run elections.

 


LWV Arizona remains neutral and takes no position on these referendum petitions.

We remain neutral when we do not have any stated positions that would clearly provide guidance for us to declare a position.

Referendum: SB1828 Omnibus Taxation (Sections 13, 15)

Referendum: SB1783 Small Businesses


 

Initiatives

 

Initiatives are used by citizens to propose new laws. If enough valid signatures are collected, the initiative ”Proposition” is placed on the ballot.  The number of signatures is based on voting in the previous election. Initiatives on the 2022 ballot require 356,467 valid signatures to be filed by July 2022. Previous propositions include Prop 106 enacting the constitutional amendment to establish the Independent Redistricting Commission.  Proposition 208 in 2020 enacted legislation to raise funds for education through a surcharge in incomes above a certain threshold. 

 

VOTING FOR AN INITIATIVE SUPPORTS ENACTING THE LAW OR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.  VOTING AGAINST OPPOSES THE LAW OR AMENDMENT.

 

LWV Arizona SUPPORTS the following initiative petition:

 

 

Initiative: Voters’ Right To Know Act
Campaign title: Stop Dark Money. Sponsor: Voters Right to Know

  • "This Voters' Right to Know Act secures for Arizona voters the right to know who is trying to influence Arizona elections using paid, public communications. It eliminates dark money barricades. Any person spending over $50,000 on statewide campaigns or $25,000 on other campaigns must disclose the original sources (people or corporations who actually earned the money) of contributions over $5,000. They must also disclose their largest donors on campaign materials. The Act will also protect local policymakers' ability to require additional disclosures. The Citizens Clean Elections Commission, a non-partisan, voter-established body, will enforce this Act. Violations could incur substantial penalties."[Official petition language]

     

  • Advocacy Analysis: We support this initiative. We have consistently supported every version of the ballot initiative to Stop Dark Money. We are guided by National and State positions regarding money in politics and opposing the corrosive influence of money in politics.

     

  • Outcome: If the voters approve the initiative, the provisions become law.

 

LWV Arizona OPPOSES the following initiative petition:

 

Initiative: Arizona Spartan Amendment to the Arizona Constitution.

  • “Amending Article VII of the constitution of Arizona by adding Section 19 with regards to methods of recording ballots, voter identification, absentee voting and removal of mail in voting process as well as removal of electronic and computerized tabulation equipment with internet access regarding to the recording and counting/tabulating of votes.” (link)[Official initiative language]

     

  • Excerpt: “Section 3, Article VII, Constitution [sic] of Arizona is amended by adding section 19, as follows:... All elections in the State of Arizona will be conducted on one single paper ballot that has been matched and verified with a government issued identification card belonging to the individual casting said ballot, and then hand counted only without the use of any electronic or computerized tabulation equipment with the capability to connect to the internet or world wide web in any capacity. Furthermore, all procedures in place for absentee voting will remain the same and any other form of mail in voting that was not designated absentee will be eliminated. "

     

  • Advocacy Analysis: This initiative is sponsored by the group promoting the “Big Lie” and the Arizona sham audit. This proposition, requiring only hand counting, has the potential to create long delays and chaos in determining election results. The wording could also remove the ability to vote by mail. While the number of signatures is a high barrier, forces with seemingly unlimited funding are in a position to bring this to the voters and push passage with the continued deployment of the “Big Lie.” We urge the League members to be vigilant and speak out against this initiative.
  • Outcome: If the voters approve the initiative, the provisions become law.

League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson

Address: 
800 N. Swan, Suite 126
Tucson, AZ 85711 

Phone: 
520-327-7652

Email:
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