A House panel took the first step Thursday toward repealing a controversial election law that opponents had successfully referred to voters on the November ballot. On a 4-2 vote, the House Judiciary Committee repealed last year’s package of election changes over the objections of referendum supporters, who say they want their referendum — a repeal of sorts — to proceed because they don’t trust the Legislature will leave elections procedures untouched. “We do not want to see it repealed and re-enacted piecemeal, and that does seem to be the intent,” Sandy Bahr told committee members. Bahr is a member of the coalition that gathered the 146,000 signatures needed to repeal last year’s House Bill 2305.
But Chairman Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said the repeal should give referendum backers what they want: A halt to the bill which they fought last year and which passed in the waning hours of the legislative session.
Farnsworth challenged those opposed to the repeal bill, HB2196, saying their fears that lawmakers will try and enact parts of the earlier bill are unfounded because he hasn’t seen any such bills.
But he also said there are items in last year’s bill that he feels need to be addressed.