Speak out on lawmaker pay raises

2014-07-07T00:00:00Z Speak out on lawmaker pay raisesBy Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX — Got something you’d like to say about whether lawmakers deserve $35,000 a year?

For $100, you can share it with the world — or at least all Arizona voters — or $75, if you’re computer-literate.

That’s how much it costs to put an argument on any ballot measure in a pamphlet to be mailed to the home of every registered voter.

But you’ve got to act fast: The language — and the cash or check — has to be in the hands of the Secretary of State’s Office no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Arizona law requires a pamphlet to be prepared detailing the effects of every measure on the November ballot. About 2 million of those pamphlets are being printed to go out before early voting for the general election starts in October.

The arguments are limited to 300 words, pro or con.

Officially, the fee is $100. But the price is reduced by $25 if the argument is submitted electronically, via compact disc or email, though it has to be formatted for Microsoft Word. Anything in PDF format will be rejected.

Whatever is submitted will be printed exactly as sent. That means if you spell a word wrong, that’s the way it comes out.

The fee has to be paid at the same time or earlier. And the arguments have to be signed and notarized.

Arguments submitted by organizations must have the notarized signatures of a least two executive officers. And political committees must be identified, with arguments signed by the chairman or treasurer.

Submittals must include the name, address or post office box, city and telephone number of those who have signed the arguments; only the name and city will appear in the pamphlet.

The question of that $11,000-a-year raise for lawmakers is on the ballot as Proposition 304.

Proposition 122 would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow residents to “reject a federal action that the people determine violates the United States Constitution.”

And Proposition 303 would allow those who are terminally ill to seek and use drugs that are still in the experimental stage.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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