108 years ago, Arizona's founders protected ordinary voters with a state constitution that guaranteed AZ residents the power of referendum, recall and initiatives. Many of the bold moves to improve public health policy have come via citizens initiatives. A few examples are:
The Smoke Free Arizona Act;
The TRUST Commission for tobacco education and prevention;
First Things First;
Proposition 204 (from 2000) which extended Medicaid eligibility to 100% of federal poverty
The next set of Voter Initiatives (if any qualify for the ballot given the new restrictions and requirements) will be on the ballot in November of 2020- and the deadline for filing the required signatures is July 2, 2020. Because it takes a long time to get the required signatures (and because of the new restrictions) folks that want to run voter initiatives need to start collecting signatures pretty soon.
Several entities have filed to notice their intent to get on the ballot so far (here’s that list on the Secretary of State’s website) but the only one that looks legit so far is one called the “Voters' Right to Know Amendment”. Terry Goddard is the Applicant and Chair for that one. Here’s a link to the voter initiative language and here’s the summary from the site:
Under this Amendment, it will no longer be possible to hide from public view the true sources of campaign spending. Anyone spending more than $20,000 on a statewide campaign or $10,000 on a local campaign must disclose contributions of $5,000 or more used to fund campaign expenditures. Major contributions must be tracked to their original sources. Violators are subject to fines.
Because elections can have a profound impact on public health policies- we’ll be diving into the details of this Initiative to determine whether and how to support this effort. More on that in a future update.
No doubt additional Initiatives that will have an impact on public health policy will be filed soon (including one that will legalize the retail sale of Cannabis). We’ll continue to watch for those and will dive into the details after they’re released – probably in next week’s Policy Update.