This Week in Arizona Politics: 5 Things to Know

July 30,2018 | Triadvocates

1. BREAKING NEWS: All eligible Arizona voters who participate in the upcoming primary election will be entered to win a $10,000 Southwest gift card. OK, we made that up. But, now that we have your attention, here’s all you need to know about the upcoming election:

  • The deadline to register to vote in the Arizona primary is Monday, July 30. (The actual date of the primary election is August 28, but you are required to register at least 28 days prior.) You cannot vote in the primary if you are not registered. To register, simply head to—this is the easiest way for unregistered voters to register before the deadline.
  • Not sure if you’re already registered? No worries. You can find out through the Arizona Secretary of State's website—just fill in your county, last name, date of birth and either your voter ID or your driver's license number, and it will give you your status as either active or inactive.
  • If only we had a dime for every time we heard someone say, “I’m registered as an Independent, so I can’t vote in the primary..."
  • Arizona has an open primary which allows voters registered as "Independent" to participate by designating to their County Recorder which partisan ballot they would like to receive. If you are a registered Independent, you need to request a specific party’s ballot to vote in the primary. If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List, make sure to contact your County Recorder's Office to specify which ballot you'd like to receive. If you choose to go to the polling sites on Election Day, simply request your ballot type from a poll worker. Note: Just because you select one party’s ballot in the primary does not mean you’re registered with the party—you maintain your independence no matter which political party you vote for in the primary.

In Arizona, most races are determined in the primary election. So, get out and voteyour vote is your voice.

On Wednesday, the Arizona Legislative Council met to consider the summary language describing the four measures that may appear on the November ballot. The analyses will be included in the publicity pamphlet that is sent to all Arizona voters, along with official ballot language, a fiscal analysis and arguments for and against the initiatives that can be submitted by members of the public.

Following eight hours of heated debate and extensive wordsmithing, the following language was adopted for the four initiatives:

Currently, the Invest in Education and the Clean Energy initiatives are facing legal challenges—it remains uncertain if they will appear on the November ballot.   

Life in the fast lane, surely makes you lose your mind...or maybe your election if you’re Paul Mosley. Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order limiting legislative immunity, a provision in the Arizona Constitution that prevents arrest of lawmakers in certain circumstances. The governor’s announcement comes after video footage went viral showing Republican Rep. Paul Mosley bragging to an officer during a traffic stop about how he drives up to 140 mph on a regular basis. Mosley, who told the officer he doesn't notice the speed because of his vehicle's “nice wheels” and suspension, did not receive a ticket, citing legislative immunity. Shortly after the police body camera footage was leaked, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police withdrew its endorsement of Mosley and condemned his speeding. Because the governor’s executive order would require an amendment to the state Constitution, voters will need to approve a repeal of the legislative immunity measure, and a majority of legislators must vote to send it to the ballot next session.

4. It’s not too early to start thinking about policy issues for the 2019 legislative session, especially if you’re in the tech space. Last year, some of the most heated debates focused on the taxation of digital products and services. HB 2479 and SB 1392 sought to create a framework to apply TPT to software and certain digital goods—essentially exempting digital goods and services from sales taxes in Arizona. The legislation took center stage throughout the first months of session but failed to make it to the finish line. Since then, two lawsuits have been filed by different tech companies (Netflix and payroll giant ADP) in Arizona tax courts on this topic. The crux of the issue centers on two questions: 1) what is a taxable product? and 2) does the state have any authority to tax digital items that are not originating from servers in the state? There’s more fun in store as we are hearing rumors that additional lawsuits are being considered by other digital providers. We expect a flurry of activity in the coming months, as legislators prefer to drive tax policy rather than wait for a ruling in the judiciary process.

Earlier this week, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Central Arizona Project held a steering committee meeting to discuss the adoption and implementation of the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (LBDCP) in a way that is “acceptable to Arizona water users.” The committee includes representatives from across the state, including members of local government, the agriculture industry, tribal leaders, development interests and state legislators, among others (for a full list of members, click here). The committee will hold eight meetings between Aug. 9 and Nov. 29, with the goal of forwarding policy for consideration by the Arizona State Legislature in the upcoming session.

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