Gov. Doug Ducey on March 23 signed into law a bill that will reshape how citizen-initiative campaigns are conducted in Arizona.
The measure, House Bill 2404, was promoted as a way to fight fraud in petition-signature gathering by banning the paying of circulators for each signature they collect. Instead, they would most likely earn an hourly wage.
Critics denounce it as an attempt to throttle the citizen-initiative process, arguing it will remove the incentive for circulators to gather the thousands of signatures needed to qualify a measure for the ballot.
“We live in a state where citizens have significant input into the policy-making process,” Ducey said in a statement accompanying the announcement he had signed the bill. “That’s a good thing, and this tweak to the law helps ensure the integrity of ballot measures moving forward.”
The bill moved though the Legislature on a wave of Republican support and frequent protests from Democrats and activists. On Thursday, it won final House approval on a 34-22 vote that split along party lines. A day earlier, it cleared the Senate on a similar partisan vote, 17-13.