Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
In 2012, Rep. Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) sponsored HB 2826 (consolidated election dates; political subdivisions), a bill providing for the consolidation of elections in the fall of even numbered years only. The law would apply to elections in 2014 and thereafter.
On August 13, 2013, Judge James E. Marner of the Pima County Superior Court struck down HB 2826 after trial of this matter to the court in City of Tucson v. State of Arizona et al. (Case No. C20126272). Judge Marner ruled in favor of the cities of Tucson and Phoenix, and against the Arizona legislature. The 10 page ruling is Here.
There is some dispute as to whether the judge's ruling applies only to the party litigants to the lawsuit, the cities of Tucson and Phoenix, or whether the legal reasoning of the ruling extends to all charter cities.
The parties have 30 days to file an appeal, but so far, no notice of appeal has been filed. This is somewhat surprising given the legislature's desire to impose consolidated election dates, and the question surrounding the scope of the court's ruling.
In a related matter, in the final hours of the 2013 session Rep. Michelle Ugenti "logrolled" two unrelated matters, her home owners association bill with Sen. Kimberly Yee's election reforms bill -- which, among other things, required cities to conform their election dates to the state elections calendar -- into a single bill, SB 1454. This violated Arizona's constitutional "single-subject" rule. See Chapter 254 Session Laws for the provisions. SB 1454l was also subject to a lawsuit.
The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Lawsuit ends with state agreeing HOA bill violates AZ Constitution:
The Arizona attorney general agreed that a comprehensive HOA bill attached to a minor elections bill in the last hours of the 2013 session violates the state Constitution’s single-subject rule.
The agreement ends a lawsuit challenging SB 1454 brought the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest on behalf of two HOA activists. Provisions that relate to elections still stand and will take effect Sept. 13 [thanks to a severability clause.]
A.R.S. §9-231, The Common Council provision limits the timing of elections pursuant to Section 16-204, the provisions for consolidated election dates in HB 2826 -- from which Tucson and Phoenix are relieved by Judge Marner's ruling. The Arizona legislature should repeal this provision and restore current Arizona law to remove confusion and an unequal application of the law (charter cities are arguably exempt).
A.R.S. 16-411, places new limitations on the designation of "emergency" polling locations by the County Recorder.
A.R.S. §16-559 establishes a "City and Town Approval Voting Study Committee" to study and establish an approval voting system in which the voter in a primary election may vote for as many candidates for a single office as the voter chooses to approve. To which I say, "Hell no!" This is a stupid effin' idea, and is going to be a source of great mischief in the next legislative session. Keep a close eye on this committee. This is going to be the next "bad bill" after HB 2305, which may soon be subject to a citizen's referendum.
A.R.S. §16-901, makes some tweaks to the campaign finance laws.
A.R.S. §16-905, makes some tweaks to the campaign finance laws.
A.R.S. §16-912, makes changes to candidate and independent expenditure committee campaign disclosures.
A.R.S. §16-912.01, makes changes to ballot measure committee campaign disclosures.
A.R.S. §16-920, makes a change to allow reliance on FEC rules, statements and other guidance regarding corporate and labor organization expenditures.
A.R.S. §16-921, makes some tweaks regarding unlawful contributions by corporations and labor organizations.
A.R.S. §16-948, new Section E precludes a clean election candidate from using a trade name, trademark or logo that is owned by a business in which the candidate has a controling interest.
A.R.S. §16-950, a tweak to qualifications for clean elections funding.
A.R.S. §16-1019, a tweak to tampering with political signs and printed materials.