Resign to run:

PHOENIX - The state House of Representatives approved a change to allow Arizona politicians to announce plans to run for a different office whenever they want.

A 1980 voter-approved law says any official who formally starts to run for a new office more than one year before the end of his or her term must step down. Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said the law already is full of loopholes.

"You can currently form an exploratory committee, form an actual (campaign) committee, collect signatures, raise money," he said. You just can't make a formal declaration of candidacy or file the nominating papers.

HB 2157 would let office holders be more truthful about what they're doing, he said.

The 40-19 vote sends the bill to the Senate.

Recall laws:

PHOENIX - The Senate voted 16-12 on Monday to impose new restrictions on spending on recall elections.

SB 1262 would apply certain limits on contributions to recall campaigns. Most notably, the limits would take effect the moment any group actually decided to start circulating petitions, not when the petition drive was successful and an election is called.

"It would make it almost impossible for any recall to be successful," said Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix.

The measure now goes to the House.

There has been only one successful recall of a state official: the 2011 ouster of Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa.


PHOENIX - Individuals or groups that want to propose their own laws or constitutional amendments would face an additional hurdle under the terms of a measure approved Monday by the Senate.

Current law allows those pushing initiatives to get their signatures from registered voters wherever they want. SCR 1019 would require that signatures come from at least five of the state's 15 counties and that at least 25 percent of the signatures be from residents outside Maricopa and Pima counties.

The 16-12 vote sends the measure to the House. If approved there, it would have to be ratified by the voters in 2014.