Saturday, March 7, 2020

Democracy Threatened at the State Capitol: Request to Speak and Phone Call Actions

I hate to say it but some of our "Representatives" in the State Legislature have been busy trying to weaken our democracy. You can weigh in on their bills being heard in committee this week. (See committee hearing schedule below.)  

If you are signed up for the Request to Speak, login in here.  

Click on the blue Request to Speak button and then New Requests in the right column. Then paste the bill number. 

If you are not signed up, find the directions for signing up and navigating the system here.  Then you'll be prepared for future Request to Speak actions in the coming weeks.. 

Another resolution to make it more difficult to put measures on the ballot -- HCR2039 -- passed out of the House along party lines. In order to propose an initiative, this bill requires that every legislative district must contribute their 1/30 share of the percentage of voters needed to place an initiative on the ballot or amend the constitution. In other words, if enough voters in Tucson and Phoenix support an initiative to get it put on the ballot, but not enough voters in King County support the initiative, then it can't be put on the ballot. Essentially, petitions will have to be circulated statewide and, if you fail to get enough signatures in one district, the initiative will fail to make the ballot - even if 90% of voters in the rest of the state signed the petition. This will make an initiative or constitutional amendment impossible to get on the ballot

If your legislators are Republicans, you may want to express your disappointment and tell them you support direct democracy. 

You can find out who your state legislators are here

You can find their contact information here

Weigh in on the following bills before they are voted on in committee: 

Monday, March 9th

Senate Committee on Government at 2:00 P.M. 
  • HB2054 GRRC; petition to request review (Biasiucci: Bolick) allows a person to petition the Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) to review Citizens Clean Elections Commission's (CCEC) existing practices, policies, and rules, if they think it doesn't meet certain requirements. This is an effort to rein in the CCEC from doing its job. OPPOSE.
Tuesday, March 10th

House Committee on Elections at 2:00 P.M. 
  • SB1032 early voting; signature required; notice (Ugenti-Rita) limits the amount of time the County Recorders have to contact a voter about a missing signature on their early ballot and allow them the opportunity to sign it. Under this bill they would have until 7:00PM Election Day, which likely would not allow the county recorders enough time to reach everyone who inadvertently left off their signature. OPPOSE.
  • SB1434 recall petitions and elections; revisions (Gowan) makes it more difficult to recall elected officials. Rules they are adding for petitions to recall elected officials - including rules on who is circulating the petition, and ten conditions that allow them to disqualify signatures.  OPPOSE.
Thursday, March 12th

Senate Committee on Judiciary at 9:30 A.M. 

  • HCR2032 initiative; single subject; title (Kern: Allen J, Barto, et al.) refers to the ballot a measure that narrows what can be included in a ballot measure and requires every subject to be in the title. This would make it impossible to place something on the ballot that is comprehensive, including environmental protection measures, and would mean a series of ballot measures. Considering how expensive it is already to propose a measure, this proposal would put the initiative process even further in the hands of only those with the deepest pockets. OPPOSE .

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