Arizona Governor Brewer Looks to Gut Citizen Initiatives
In 1998 Arizona voters passed an initiative that barred the state legislature from tampering with ballot measures that the voters had put into law. The Voter Protection Act was a response to years of legislative evisceration of initiatives.
Now, Governor and former Secretary of State Jan Brewer wants voters to give the legislature back the ability to gut initiatives. Brewer is no fan of an open initiative process, having recently failed in an attempt to uphold Arizona’s unconstitutional ban on non-resident petition circulators.
Since Brewer and her ilk can’t keep measures off the ballot through circulator restrictions, so she’ll now try to settle for the ability to reverse them after the voters have passed them. In Arizona, like everywhere else, the initiative process enjoys wide and deep support. Luckily, some other top lawmakers in the state realize that the people’s initiative power won’t be so quickly lost, noting that opposition to gutting the 1998 voter-protection provision “is probably much stronger than the other side of that issue.” They can sure bet on that.