Ballot reconsideration measure advances

Hank Stephenson//March 7, 2014

Ballot reconsideration measure advances

Hank Stephenson//March 7, 2014

VA measure asking voters every eight years to reconsider ballot measures that require spending money was approved March 5 by the House of Representatives.

Republican Rep. Paul Boyer of Phoenix sponsored HCR2018, which was sent to the Senate on a party-line vote.

If approved by the Senate and by voters in November, the measure would automatically send ballot spending measures approved in 2014 or later back to voters every eight years.

Democrats argued that the measure would hamper citizens who use the initiative and referendum process by requiring perpetual reauthorization of initiatives. They argued it would confuse voters and increase the length of the ballot. Further, they said it was an unnecessary measure because lawmakers can already ask voters to reapprove ballot measures at any time.

Democratic Rep. Martin Quezada of Phoenix said the expense and efforts that would go into reapproving every single voter approved measure that spends money would be extensive and unnecessary.

“I find it really troubling that we keep asking the voters: Are you sure? Are you sure?” he said.

But Republicans argued that the Legislature regularly establishes sunset dates on legislation, and Boyer’s measure would extend that to initiatives. They said the state’s population is constantly changing and new voters shouldn’t be stuck with the decisions of a past generation.

Boyer said lawmakers have control over only about one-third of the budget because of ongoing spending requirements put in place by the voters. He noted that the measure would have to be approved by the voters to be enacted.

“All we’re doing is asking voters if they would like to continue funding the propositions that they already passed,” he said.