Years ago, a move was underway to make it harder for Arizonans to create their own laws. At the time I thought it was because of the effort to legalize marijuana, for example, which was born by groups elsewhere in the United States coming here trying to get their measure passed. It was not a homegrown or grassroots effort, and they succeeded last year.
One has to wonder if we, Arizonans, really want some of these things. So some lawmaker says, “That’s wrong, let’s pass a law!”
In a state where recall elections are too easy and some ballot measures are not checked well enough ahead of approval (and they end up mired in the courts), this type of “tinkering” continues today, with state lawmakers trying to figure out a way around the voter-approved Proposition 208, the education tax on the wealthy.
We’ll always have our ability to vote lawmakers out – the ultimate power, except when lawmakers also want to tweak a voter-approved measure because they just don’t like it. Seems politicians want all the control. While I did not approve of Prop 208, when did lawmakers become so wise? In fact, our state lawmakers are becoming what they hate; the federal government often blackmails the states – “if you enact that, you’ll lose highway funding” – but our legislators do the same to the counties, cities and towns. Really, good state lawmakers do exist. The rest of them must think we’re not watching.
Tim Wiederaenders is an editor at the Prescott Daily Courier and a former resident of Lake Havasu City.