Referendums underway to allow voters to overturn bad laws

Carter ‘formed an alliance with Democratic elected officials for the express purpose of thwarting the will of the Republican majority …’
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margot and russ wittenbergMargot and Russ Wittenberg, as time permits, can be found outside the Carefree Post Office helping to collect signatures. Desert Hills resident Shawn Campbell is pictured signing the petition to refer to voters sections of statute, since dubbed OBrewercare, that will expand Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Photo by Don Sorchych

PHOENIX – The ink was barely dry from Gov. Jan Brewer signing HB 2010, the Medicaid expansion bill, since dubbed OBrewercare, when organizers vowed to file a referendum of A.R.S. §§ 36-2901.07 and 36-2901.08.

Those sections of statute will not only allow the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it will invite more than 300,000 additional enrollees whose gross income is less than or equal to 133% of the federal poverty guidelines to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid program.

The expansion of the nonfederal share of costs will be funded by charging all hospitals in Arizona an assessment.

The eligibility expansion is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives, the political action committee (PAC) leading the referendum effort, is headed by former legislators Frank Antenori and Ron Gould.

Margot and Russ Wittenberg said they will be at the Carefree Post Office to help collect signatures as they have time.

There is another effort underway by those who do not want voters to decide the matter, using paid signature gathers.

The ploy is to get people to sign bogus petitions to fool them into believing they have already signed a real petition so when asked to sign the real one, they will decline under the belief they have already signed.

The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives petitions are registered with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office as R-01-2014, which must appear on the bottom right hand corner of each petition.

The referendum must collect a minimum of 86,405 valid signatures by Sept. 11, 2013 to be placed on the ballot.

Another referendum, R-02-2014, is underway seeking to place HB2003, amending A.R.S. § 15-1021 to double the class B bonding capacity limits of school districts from 5 percent to 10 percent and unified school districts from 10 percent to 20 percent, on the ballot.

The bill will increase property taxes substantially for property owners in districts that incur additional debt as a result of this measure.

We the People AZ Against Common Core, headed by Wes Harris and Jennifer Reynolds, is the PAC seeking to place this law on the ballot for voters to decide.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Heather Carter, R-Dist. 15, who also voted in favor of the Medicaid expansion bill and which earned her a vote of no confidence (54-5) by her precinct committeemen.

In June, Legislative District 25 passed a resolution to censure the governor and 15 Republican lawmakers, including Carter, because they “formed an alliance with Democratic elected officials for the express purpose of thwarting the will of the Republican majority in the legislature and violating Republican Party principles and the Republican Party Platform …”

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