PHOENIX - State lawmakers are moving to put additional hurdles in the path of those who want to bypass the Legislature through initiatives. But one of them must be approved by voters themselves.
The House Judiciary Committee approved a measure to require those proposing laws and constitutional amendments to get signatures in at least five of the state's 15 counties.
Further, SCR 1019 says at least 25 percent of the total signatures required must come from outside Maricopa and Pima counties.
"We all know when an initiative passes and gets enacted it affects everybody in the state, not just Maricopa County or Pima County," argued Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale.
Reagan said most recent initiative drives concentrate their efforts on those two population centers.
But Rep. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, pointed out this signature requirement is more stringent than for those running for statewide office, who must get signatures from just three counties with no requirement how many come from a specific area.
If approved, the change would be submitted to voters.
A separate change approved by the panel would require paid circulators to register with the Secretary of State's Office.
SB 1263 also includes new provisions for companies that hire circulators, including conducting background checks and providing proof of certain training. This measure needs only final House approval before going to the governor.