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The Latest: House, Senate scrap debate on initiative revamp

May 8, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a push to change signature requirements for Arizona citizen initiatives (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

The Arizona House and Senate scrapped planned debate on a contentious plan to enact major changes in how citizen initiatives qualify for the ballot amid opposition from some majority Republicans.

In related action Wednesday, the Senate rejected tougher voter registration drive rules, but the House gave the attorney general the ability to rewrite initiative ballot language.

The twin proposals that were pulled would have required initiative proponents to collect signatures from 10% of recent voters in each legislative district. The Arizona Constitution now requires signatures from 10% of voters statewide.

Some GOP lawmakers thought that was a step too far, and with no Democratic support the measures were pulled.

Proponents argue rural areas are ignored by initiative backers. Initiative backers say they would allow any single district to block initiatives.

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12:01 p.m.

The Arizona House and Senate have scheduled debate on a contentious plan to enact major changes in how citizen initiatives qualify for the ballot.

The twin proposals backed by majority Republicans would require initiative proponents to collect signatures from 10% of the voters in each of the state’s 30 legislative districts. The Arizona Constitution now requires signatures from 10% of all voters statewide to qualify an initiative for the ballot.

If approved Wednesday, the measures would be put on the 2020 ballot for voters to approve.

Proponents argue the views of rural areas are ignored by initiative backers. Initiative backers say they would allow any single district to block a measure with broad support.

Proposals toughening petition circulator and voter registration drive rules are also scheduled for action.

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