Arizona officials are now calling out Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to expedite the signature counting process for the referendum against Arizona’s Universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) law, including the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Ben Toma (R-Maricopa).
“We expect that your office will have formally rejected the referendum petition as legally insufficient no later than the opening of business on Friday morning,” Toma said in a letter to Hobbs. “If the full and effective implementation of H.B. 2853 continues to be obstructed, the Arizona House of Representatives will exercise its constitutional oversight function in order to find facts and ultimately to determine what, if any, legislation may be required to prohibit, deter, and penalize such dishonesty in future campaigns and administrations, and to ensure that the statutory procedures for filing and processing ballot measure petitions cannot be manipulated to enable such misconduct.”
State Rep. Ben Toma (R-Maricopa) released a statement of celebration Monday following the news that Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ) allegedly failed to provide enough signatures to force a referendum on Arizona’s universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) law.
“Chalk up another major victory for Arizona families wanting the freedom to choose the education that best meets their child’s needs,” Toma said in a press release. “School choice is increasingly popular with Arizona parents, especially those whose children are stuck in a failing school, so I find it baffling that anyone would try so hard to take that choice away from parents. It’s good that they have apparently failed.”
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club filed a lawsuit recently against Invest in Arizona over the organization’s attempt to get three referendums on the Arizona ballot that would reverse Arizona’s recently passed tax cuts. The lawsuit contends that since the tax cuts “provide for, and directly relate to, the generation of revenues that are remitted to the general fund and appropriated to various agencies, departments and instrumentalities of the state government,” they cannot be the subject of a referendum and are unconstitutional.
AFEC President Scot Mussi, who is one of the plaintiffs, said, “All three bills directly provide for the support and maintenance of the state, were key aspects of the state’s budget, and therefore are not referable by Invest in Arizona.”